New LEAD Tool Features and Upcoming Webinar

Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool was updated with new features and capabilities based on stakeholder feedback, including:  

  • Search Capability: a more robust search box for all data in the LEAD Tool allowing users to easily see names of different geographies and switch between maps.
  • Customized Geographies: ability to select and combine geographic areas (state, county, and census tracts) into one customized group, so users can see the totals for their customized geographies (e.g., specific service territories).
  • County Line Visibility: County outlines have been added to the census tract map view, so users can more readily see in which county census tracts belong.

Learn about the new features and capabilities in a live demonstration webinar on Wednesday, March 4, at 3:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). Register today!

Case Study: North Carolina Program to Enhance Performance Contracting for K-12 Schools, Community College, and Local Governments

With a competitive award from the DOE State Energy Program, North Carolina successfully helped 30 local governments implement energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) projects that will result in more than $70 million in lifetime savings. To overcome a lack of understanding and buy-in at the local level to use ESPCs for small building-sector projects, North Carolina enhanced the value proposition of ESPCs for local governmental units, such as community colleges, small public school systems, and county and municipal governments by simplifying the ESPC process and providing third-party technical assistance to help local officials.

This new resource highlights the policies, processes, and outcomes from North Carolina’s ESPC initiative. For more information on North Carolina’s success, download the implementation model.

U.S. Wind Turbine Database Data and Methods Published in New Paper

U.S. Wind Database website.

Jointly funded by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. Wind Turbine Database is the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date public source for location and attribute data for U.S. land-based and offshore wind power, also it is continuously updated and maintained by LBNL, USGS, and AWEA.

Nature: Scientific Data recently published a paper that provides a detailed description of the data and methods used to generate, validate, and maintain the U.S. Wind Turbine Database. These data are used by government agencies, scientists, private companies, and citizens for a variety of analyses, including operational impact assessments of turbines on air defense radar, weather and general aviation, analyses related to the role of wind energy in the U.S. electric grid, interactions between wind energy facilities and wildlife, and investments in wind energy infrastructure. For more information, download the Nature: Scientific Data article and read the Springer Nature blog post.


Registration is Now Open for the 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit!

The first 100 people to register will receive a discounted rate, so reserve your spot today! 

The 2020 Summit will be held June 8-10, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.). Attendees will experience three days of engaging, interactive sessions across six tracks with fellow industry stakeholders and experts, as well as special events, workshops, and peer-networking opportunities. View this year's schedule in the updated Agenda-At-A-Glance.


State and Local Energy (SLOPE) Platform Beta: Leveling the SLOPE on Achieving your Clean Energy Goals

Feb. 20, 2020
4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

During this webinar, DOE and NREL staff will demonstrate and answer questions about SLOPE Beta. The demonstration will feature an introduction to SLOPE Beta’s components that include electricity and natural gas consumption, energy efficiency potential, renewable energy technical generation potential, levelized cost of energy, and much more. The demonstration will also include example use cases that will allow state and local governments to effectively leverage SLOPE's capabilities.

The SLOPE Platform, a collaboration between eight DOE technology offices and NREL, is a tool to enable more data-driven state and local energy planning by integrating dozens of distinct sources of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and (coming soon) sustainable transportation data and analyses into an easy-to-access, online platform that supports state and local decision making.

Register now.

Access SLOPE Beta. For more information on the Beta, please view the SLOPE fact sheet.

Better Benchmarking For Lab Buildings

A typical laboratory is three to four times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a campus' energy footprint, making laboratories a key focal area for energy management strategies at universities, corporations, hospitals, and federal agencies. Benchmarking is a crucial component of any energy management approach, but laboratory buildings have historically been underserved by the major benchmarking tools. DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program is hosting a Better Benchmarking for Lab Buildings webinar to demonstrate the new Laboratory Benchmarking Tool. Register for the webinar.

Heat Pump Water Heaters—What You Need to Know Right Now

Feb. 27, 2020
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

Heat pump water heaters can be several times more efficient than traditional gas-fired or electric models, but what do you need to know before introducing them into your program or installing one? Join us on this DOE Better Buildings Residential Network webinar for an overview of this promising technology, and for guidance on how to make the most of it in the field. Register now.

Infrastructure Investments in the News

Missouri continues to achieve success with C-PACE: Since the launch of Missouri’s commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program in 2015, 55 municipalities across the state have joined—saving a total of $52 million in energy costs.

New York approves $2 billion energy efficiency incentive plan: A new $2 billion New York energy efficiency plan is seeking to save energy through incentives and rebates to increase the use of heat pumps, high-efficiency appliances, LED light bulbs, and other projects in the coming years. 

Earthquake, Widespread Outages in Puerto Rico Test New Microgrids: After a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Puerto Rico in January caused widespread destruction and power outages, solar plus storage microgrids installed at 10 schools continued running.