DOE Invests $14M in Building Efficiency Projects

July 17, 2014 by

The U.S. Energy Department is set to fund up to $14 million to support energy-efficient solutions for buildings and homes. These projects will help building managers and homeowners reduce energy demand, save money, and accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies.

Seven incubator projects will be funded with nearly $6 million to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), water heating, sensors and controls, and building energy modeling. Additionally, eight frontier projects will receive $8 million to address energy efficiency in advanced clothes dryers, windows, and building thermal insulation. Frontier projects seek to improve the efficiency of existing technologies by incorporating new, innovative materials or components.DOE Investment

“Investments in advanced energy-efficient technologies will help families and businesses reduce energy costs, while reducing carbon emissions,” said Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “These innovative approaches will improve smart-building technologies, including lighting, lighting controls, highly insulated walls and windows, as well as increase efficiency measures that complement a building’s entire energy management system.”

For the full list of projects selected for funding, read the complete announcement.

California Energy Commission Awards Grant for Bay Area Charge Ahead Project

July 11, 2014 by

EV sign2According to the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco currently has more than 20,000 electric vehicle (EV)  drivers and 40% of the total number of plug-in cars in all of California. Pacific Gas & Electric predicts that as many as 800,000 EVs will be on the road in Northern California by the end of 2020!

Looking at these statistics, it’s clear the demand for more charging stations exceeds the supply since there are currently a little over 800 publicly available charging stations in the Bay Area according to the SF Gate.

To help correct this imbalance, the California Energy Commission recently awarded an EV charging infrastructure grant of almost $500,000, and a consortium of EV industry leaders developed the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project to  deploy 29 new public charging stations. The consortium, led by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC),  includes ChargePoint, ABM, the EV Communities Alliance, and 9 site hosts.

ABM will be installing the new ChargePoint stations — totaling nearly 80 individual charge ports — across 17 locations in 10 municipalities in the Bay Area. ABM has currently installed more than 300 EV charging stations in Northern California — and more than 1,000 nationwide — and is eager to bring more charging options to the San Francisco community. ChargePoint is the established national leader in EV charging station design and manufacturing, while ABM is a North American  leader in charge station installation.

“This deployment is a major step forward towards widespread public charging, making it easier than ever to drive electric throughout the Bay,” according to the BACC Executive Director, Rafael Reyes. “Reaching our target of 100,000 EVs on the road by 2020 not only will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollutants but also support the economy by ensuring $120 million or more is in people’s pockets instead of going out the door for fuel.”

Over 10 years, this phase of the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project is expected to result in net reductions of more than 10 million kilograms of CO2, compared to the global warming pollution of regular gas vehicles.

“Our residents and businesses are early adopters of alternative and cleaner transportation, so this program is another great way for us to support those initiatives,” said Mayor Chris Clark of Mountain View. “Adding a new public charging area to our downtown and in civic centers throughout the region is beneficial for everyone.”

Read more about the Bay Area Charge Ahead Project here.


Center for Green Schools Releases State of Our Schools Report

July 2, 2014 by

State of Our Schools Infographic

K-12 public schools are at the center of nearly 100,000 communities across the United States. While innovation and technology are at the forefront of education principles, many schools are faced with choosing between funding facilities or educational advancements.

According to the Center for Green Schools’ first annual State of Our Schools report, $542B is required over the next 10 years just to modernize our pre-K through 12th grade educational infrastructure. The estimate does not include the funding required for technology upgrades in classrooms or new construction to cover the average daily attendance growth.

The report also notes that schools are spending approximately $8B a year on energy and other utilities, which is 30% more than necessary according to ENERGY STAR reports. This expense exceeds what is spent on computers, textbooks, and other educational materials!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) estimate that by improving energy efficiency, K-12 schools can save $2B annually. As a result, school districts across the country are taking dramatic steps to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings, with the most innovative turning their wasted energy into funding for mission-critical facility improvements. Through creative energy retrofit packages, such as ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions program, schools are able to fund major technical infrastructure upgrades, reduce energy use and operating costs, and meet their sustainability goals and requirements — without any negative impact on the education budget or increasing the burden on taxpayers.

This approach is ideal for schools starving for capital because it packages the equipment, installation, and ongoing maintenance costs into a single turnkey project that produces guaranteed energy savings and often times general fund relief. The creation of general fund relief allows schools to use this newly created funding as a way to plug budget gaps or pay for other educational programs.

Read the complete State of Our Schools report for more facts on school facilities, as well as recommendations to help communities, states, and the nation invest more efficiently, effectively, and equitably. For more information on ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions and the schools who are leading the charge on transforming wasted energy into facility upgrades, click here.


Parking Industry Follows LEED’s Lead with Green Garage Certification

June 27, 2014 by

green parkingThe Green Parking Council (GPC) has launched the Green Garage Certification program. According to a recent edc Magazine article, the program is equivalent to the LEED certification program for buildings and “recognizes and inspires high standards in sustainable parking facility design, technology, operations, and management.”

The program is in response to the trend toward more livable communities and social responsibility, and demonstrates the parking industry’s commitment to a greener future.

“Green Garage Certification provides both a roadmap and assessment tool for real estate owners, developers, planners, architects, tenants, parking operators and others to strive toward a more environmentally and economically sustainable future,” says GPC Executive Director Paul Wessel.

If you are interested in Green Garage Certification, read the complete article or go to to get more information – including a free program guide and application, requirements, and case studies.





City of Harrisonburg, VA to Save More than $2.5M in Energy Costs

June 11, 2014 by

harrisonburg VA energy solutionsThe City of Harrisonburg, VA is implementing a second phase of energy and facility improvements that will reduce energy consumption by 50% and save more than $2.5M in energy and operating costs over the next 15 years.

The energy management project focuses on two of the city’s public buildings and includes facility upgrades such as efficient lighting; boiler, chiller, and cooling tower replacement; heater replacement; terminal unit modification and replacement; and window film. Other improvements include upgrading the HVAC units and adding automated building controls.

ABM was selected by the city to provide the energy efficiency improvements through its Bundled Energy Solutions program that funds projects through guaranteed energy savings. ABM originally assisted Harrisonburg in 2010 with several HVAC projects designed to maximize energy savings.

For more details on the City of Harrisonburg’s innovative energy solutions, read the complete press release.