This guide focuses on clean energy financing options for school administrators, facility managers, and other K-12 school decision makers who are considering investments in high performance school projects. This guide explicitly focuses on comprehensive energy upgrades, those that involve multiple measures and are targeted toward achieving significant energy savings. Successful implementation of clean energy upgrades in schools is a matter of understanding the opportunity, making the commitment, and creatively tapping into available financing. This guide attempts to provide the foundation needed for successful projects in U.S. schools. It walks through the financing options available to K-12 schools and provides case studies of six school districts from around the country.
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There is nothing small about the impact that small commercial buildings have on energy use in the United States. In fact, the 4.6 million small buildings across the nation consume 44% of the overall energy use in buildings, presenting an enormous opportunity to cut costs, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this potential, small building owners and operators face unique challenges that have historically impeded the adoption of widespread energy efficiency solutions. A new report developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examines these barriers and suggests a path forward to support cost-effective energy savings for the small buildings and small portfolios sector, which typically has limited resources to pursue energy efficiency solutions.
Small buildings have been left behind in the energy efficiency marketplace because financial and technical resources have flowed to larger commercial buildings (PGL 2013). DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) works with the commercial building industry to accelerate the uptake of energy efficiency technologies and techniques in existing and new commercial buildings (DOE 2013). BTO recognizes the SBSP sector’s potential for significant energy savings and the need for investments in resources that are tailored to this sector’s unique needs. The industry research and recommendations described in this report identify potential approaches and strategic priorities that BTO could explore over the next 3–5 years that will support the implementation of high-potential energy efficiency opportunities for this important sector.
This report summarizes an evaluation of LED recessed downlight luminaires in the guest rooms at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Columbus, OH. The facility opened in October of 2012, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a post-occupancy assessment of the facility in January–March of 2014. Each of the 484 guest rooms uses seven 15 W LED downlights: four downlights in the entry and bedroom and three downlights in the bathroom. The 48 suites use the seven 15 W LED downlights and additional fixtures depending on the space requirements, so that in total the facility has more than 3,700 LED downlights. The downlights are controlled through wall-mounted switches and dimmers. A ceiling-mounted wireless vacancy sensor ensures that the bathroom luminaires are turned off when the room is not occupied.
A recast of a presentation done for the Fairfax Chapter of Association of Energy Engineers in November of 2013. Presentation focuses on the the Advanced Energy Design Guides published by ASHRAE with association of AIA, USGBC, and IES with funding and technical support from DOE, NREL, and PNNL. In addition, the DOE Advanced Retrofit Guides are also discussed. Both sets of guides are available for download from this resource database.
This document lists a set of resources that can help small business owners make informed decisions about their energy use and identify opportunities for long-term financial savings from energy efficiency improvements. These resources include case studies, energy savings and investment calculators, technical guides and information on state and federal incentives programs.
Argonne’s Energy Efficiency Decision Support Calculator is a simple tool that small business owners can use to quickly analyze the high-level economic impact of investments in energy efficient products, retrofits or capital improvements. This tool requires minimal input data and is accessible to anyone, regardless of their experience with energy issues. It is intended to complement many of the more involved, technology specific calculators that are referenced in Argonne’s “Resources for Informed Small Business Energy Efficiency Decision Making.”
One of the nation’s largest schools serving over 60,000 students, the University of Minnesota (U of M) is upgrading the lighting at all 18 parking ramps and garages on its Minneapolis campus. In the Northrop Auditorium Garage, a small 24,000 square foot facility with 75 parking spots, U of M replaced low-wattage high-pressure sodium fixtures with high efficiency, lower- wattage LED fixtures with lighting controls. This Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign Award winning project achieved 90% energy savings by upgrading to LEDs with lighting controls.
NorthBay VacaValley Hospital completed lighting retrofits to their 150,000 square foot parking lot and its 225 parking spaces. They did so with help from The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at the University of California, Davis. The project has achieved 65% savings and received a 2014 Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign’s award for best use of lighting controls. In addition, the retrofits improved lighting maintenance operations and end-user satisfaction.
The lighting retrofit included replacing roughly 50 induction luminaires with new LED fixtures with embedded lighting controls.
The new LED fixtures were coupled with various kinds of lighting control systems, including a radio frequency (RF) connectivity control system that was installed in dedicated zones with passive- infrared (PIR) and long-range microwave sensors to achieve energy savings. An “ultra-smart” lighting control network was also put in place, giving facility managers the ability to adjust lighting schedules, light levels and time-out settings, monitor the system’s energy use, and receive automated alerts when luminaires require maintenance.
When it comes to achieving significant sustainability gains, an international retail giant has unique opportunities to cut energy use. With a total of 4,500 sites, Walmart’s commitment to efficiency in parking lighting in new construction and retrofits is paying off in major savings.
As a result of its lighting upgrades Walmart received individual Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign awards for a superstore, a neighborhood market and a Sam’s Club. Across 100 stores including both new and retrofitted sites, over 40 million square feet in surfaces for parking and over 100,000 parking spaces, Walmart is saving over 15 million kWh each year as a result of lighting upgrades.