NEEP promotes high performance public buildings because they present a unique opportunity to lead by example and drive market transformation through the use of pilot projects. The extended lifecycle and greater certainty of investment horizons in such buildings make them prime candidates for efficiency investments. NEEP has produced various resources in support of energy efficiency in the public sector, including the Guide to Greening the Public Sector and Operation and Maintenance Guide for Schools and Public Buildings.
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.
Guide to Greening the Public Sector
In 2012, NEEP issued a report on strategies for Greening the Public Sector. Recommendations of this report included: (1) the benchmarking and commissioning of public buildings; (2) incentivizing high performance school construction through additional aid reimbursements; (3) promotion of building operator training through courses such as Building Operator Certification; and (4) creation and implementation of green building codes.
Public Building Operation and Maintenance Guide
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.
The Nexus of Energy Codes and Building Performance Standards
Cities and states across the country have made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to stated timelines. The approach to reducing emissions, energy, and water use in new buildings is very different than the approach to do so in existing buildings. There are two separate but very related ways to approach these challenges: energy codes and building performance standards. This brief explores both concepts and explains how and why energy codes and building performance standards need to be aligned.