Five Takeaways from the Better Buildings Summit

September 4, 2018

 

Energy efficiency is gaining serious steam across America. That was my big picture takeaway from attending the recent Better Buildings Summit. The Summit, held in Cleveland for the first time, is the Department of Energy’s largest trade show of the year, with nearly three thousand energy professionals in attendance. 

Metrus Energy was recognized as a 2018 Goal Achiever under the Better Buildings Program. Metrus CEO, Bob Hinkle received the award in Cleveland, Ohio from Maria Vargas, Director of the Better Buildings Challenge for the U.S. Department of Energy

 

Speaking of the host city, kudos to Cleveland for its work in energy efficiency. Cleveland was the second city in the country to join the nationwide network of 2030 Districts dedicated to helping commercial buildings cut energy usage, water consumption, and commuter transportation emissions in half by the year 2030.  It was a great event. Here are five things that stood out to me:

 

  • Going beyond savings. Resilience was a hot topic at the Summit as many partners are beginning to think about the implications of climate change and increased weather activity and how it may affect their buildings’ performance, strength, and value. Collaboration in this critical area is being fostered through the Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for Resiliency Accelerator.

 

  • Water efficiency is on the rise. Many partners are starting to focus on improving water efficiency in their buildings in addition to energy improvements and over 40 partners across the commercial, public, industrial, and multifamily sectors are working with DOE to track water saving improvements and share successful strategies. This matches project-level tends for our recent ESA transactions at Metrus which increasingly include water efficiency upgrades.

 

  • Financing takes center stage. Clean energy finance continues to be a major area of excitement and activity for many partners. This year’s Summit featured financing focused sessions on topics such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and energy efficiency-as-a-service. The full spectrum of energy efficiency financing options was on display at this year’s BBC goal achiever award ceremony. Award recipients included Citi, Bank of America, PACE Equity, New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation and Metrus Energy. Regional programs, including those run by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), are starting to develop initiatives that tap into innovative efficiency financing solutions that target deep energy retrofit projects.

 

  • Stepping up. Businesses, state and municipal entities are making commitments to improve their energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. The BBC continues to grow as over 20 new organizations from the MUSH, C&I, and financial sectors joined in the past year.

 

  • Save and repeat. A number of partners that have achieved their original energy reduction goals have set additional goals to strive for with additional reductions targets reaching as high as 60%. I am proud to say that Metrus is among the list of the 19 partners who achieved their goals this year, highlighted in this DOE news.

 

There was a lot more that I could have written about.  The level of optimism and momentum in the energy efficiency is tremendous right now, and the Better Buildings Summit put it all on display. Can’t wait til next year!

 

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