Energy Department releases cases studies, best practices to help energy efficiency programs

December 2, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced several new cases studies and other online resources that are now available to local governments that are designing, expanding and enabling energy efficiency programs across the country, according to The Cypress Times.

The news source reported that these case studies and step-by-step guides were developed using real-world results from the DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. These resources outline a framework for successful energy efficient upgrade programs to help homeowners, businesses and organizations save money through energy cost reduction.

These programs were developed in response to the 40 percent of total energy use in the U.S. that is consumed by buildings and the $300 billion in energy bills that exist across the country.

The DOE has given more than $122 million in grants to a specific site located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to help the organization develop and design energy efficient buildings and technology.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) is a consortium of academic institutions, federal laboratories, global industries and regional economic development agencies.

A report by Econsult Corporation said that the GPIC activities are organized into six task areas. These include Design Tools, Integrated Technologies, Policy, Markets and Behavior, Education and Workforce Development, Deployment and Commercialization and Collaborative Demonstration Projects.

The GPIC is looking to improve energy efficiency and operability and reduce the carbon emissions of new and existing buildings. This effort is also directed at stimulating private invesment and job creation within the sector in the Greater Philadelphia region.

The DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is also set up as a potential leader in the sector, as it is using innovative approaches to test business models, providing concrete examples of models that work and identifying real market solutions to generate sustainability within the industry, according to the Times.

The news source reported that the program was developed from the approaches that were taken by the associated partners, the new online resources and energy efficiency initiative administrators. These included designing, implementing and marketing a comprehensive strategy for upgrades to buildings.

According to the Times, the DOE is hoping that the program will influence a change in many areas across the country, as they project that businesses and homeowners will be able to save money and energy.