NEEP is in the midst of assembling tools, trainings, and information sources that will improve overall understanding of energy efficiency best practices at the local level. Once assembled, NEEP will conduct a high performance information campaign to disseminate these resources, focusing on strategically selected municipalities. Currently these resources revolve around several opportunities:
Street lights often account for 25 percent or more of a municipality’s utility budget. Fortunately, recent technological advances have rendered traditional high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) high consumption dinosaurs. Light emitting diode (LED) street lights can provide better color quality at similar prices, but with twice the guaranteed lifespan, while using less than half of the energy. This translates to huge savings for municipalities; and NEEP can help guide stakeholders through the process. Resources:
- Report- LED Street Lighting Assessment and Strategies for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (January 2015)
- Webinar Recording- Webinar summarizing report, featuring City of Pittsburgh's conversion (March 2015)
Public Sector Benchmarking and Energy Data Access Opportunities
More than 40 percent of US commercial building space has been benchmarked using the US Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Yet, many states and municipalities seeking to track their energy data face unique barriers. To overcome these barriers, public sector entities can engage their utilities and seek streamlined data access options that would facilitate automated upload to Portfolio Manager, or a number of other different energy management suites. For information on exemplary municipal efforts for accessing and managing utility data and best practices to help steer municipalities on to a path towards effectively implementing energy management initiatives, see the Public Sector Building Energy Benchmarking: Utility Data Access Options and Opportunities report.
Building Operation and Maintenance Best Practices
Promoting Operations and Maintenance (O&M) best practices is an important part of NEEP’s outreach and education efforts. Often characterized as a no-to-low cost opportunity, O&M procedures targeted at energy efficiency can save 5-20 percent on a building’s energy bills. For more information on Building Operation and Maintenance, you can download the latest version of the Operations and Maintenance Guide for Schools and Public Buildings and its accompanying one page summary.
Better Buildings Challenge
The US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge is an initiative that challenges companies, universities, school districts, multifamily organizations, and state and local government to reduce the energy used across their building portfolios by 20 percent or more over 10 years. As of spring 2014, the initiative boasts commitments from 47 state and local governments, 30 commercial organizations, 21 financial allies, 21 educational institutions, 18 industrial partners, and three utilities.
Providence, Rhode Island has an ongoing sustainability initiative aimed at reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in all city-owned property. Through energy improvement projects made to schools, street lighting and other public infrastructure, the city has been able to reduce electricity consumption by four percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent compared to 2010 baseline levels. Click here to view an exemplar highlighting the various projects completed across the city.