January 2019
Four states make strides on advancing energy codes
The ACEEE 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard tracks progress in energy efficiency, state scores are listed in this map.
Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island come out on top in the  2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard  released last fall. The three states ranked high on six areas including utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state initiative, and appliance standards, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), which publishes the scorecard. Of those areas, advancing building energy codes are one of the most impactful actions that states can take to meet energy and carbon reduction goals.

And while the leaders have held these top spots for years now, there are four new states that have made notable progress in commercial building codes since last year. Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Idaho all saw code improvements that bettered their rank on the scorecard in that area. To improve their performance scores, those four states adopted the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) , thereby updating the expected energy stringency of new construction projects. The improvements are tracked with zEPI Jurisdictional Scores developed by NBI.

The zEPI Jurisdicational Score score intends to address the growing number of states looking to drive local building stock toward zero energy (ZE) performance and offers a common baseline against which the energy performance of code-compliant buildings can be compared across states.

The Northwest sees continued growth in zero energy buildings
A new Northwest Zero Energy Watchlist has been released tracking commercial and multifamily zero energy (ZE) buildings across the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The Northwest has seen a consistent increase in interest regarding ZE buildings with seven projects having verified ZE performance. Thirty-six more have publicly stated a ZE goal putting them on the emerging project list. Projects are verified either by NBI or another third party.

"T his Northwest Watchlist inspires and tracks regional progress and further emphasizes that regional and state actions accelerate the growth of zero energy buildings in all regions," said Jeff Harris, chief transformation officer at NEEA.

The annual Watchlist is published to document growth and trends related to ZE projects in the region and to spotlight early adoption of ultra low-energy buildings with onsite renewables.

Mirroring national trends, education buildings are leading in the Northwest getting to zero count.
Ithaca is a New York leader in zero energy building standards
The energy use in buildings across the Town and City of Ithaca is responsible for nearly 75% of carbon emissions, according to the local sustainability officials. To reduce its carbon footprint, the two jurisdictions are taking important steps to increase energy efficiency in existing buildings. First, they are making financing for new projects more accessible and affordable by participating in a  Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing  program called Energize NY . The program provides a low-cost, long-term alternative to traditional loans to fund clean energy projects in commercially owned buildings.

The Town and City of Ithaca also helped co-found the innovative  Residential Energy Score Project (RESP) , which works to create strong market demand for energy efficiency in existing houses. Most recently, civic leaders with have established the Ithaca Green Building Policy that will target the rising number of new local developments with ultra-low energy standards. The policy represents an early adoption of the statewide stretch code provisions under development by state leaders and stakeholders with support from NBI.

Examining the link between energy efficiency and equity, how efficient multifamily housing can help
NBI has a strategic goal to leverage energy efficiency to support social equity through affordable housing, healthy buildings, economic and workforce development.   A recent  article from CityLab  
highlights the squeeze on low-income households, primarily renters, from rising energy cost and dwindling funding for low-income energy assistance programs. Disadvantaged communities, low-income and largely minority neighborhoods, spend a much higher share of their income on energy, according to studies.

One way to address the disparity is to deliver higher energy performance in apartment buildings so tenants spend less on energy bills and more on other necessities. NBI's Multifamily Guide can help developers and designers construct new construction multifamily projects that are leading examples of energy efficiency that benefits residents by shielding them from high energy expenses.

Mark your calendar for the premier global event defining the future for a low-energy, low-carbon built environment.
The 2019 Getting to Zero National Forum will be an innovation- and solutions-focused event that spotlights collaborations, policies and practices that are driving better energy and carbon outcomes for buildings. C o-hosted by New Buildings Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute, the National Forum will bring together designers, policymakers, owners, operators and others working to speed the transition to clean energy by dramatically reducing energy use and carbon emissions from buildings, and create more comfortable and productive places to live and work.

Plan on joining us in Oakland, California, on October 9-11, for the 2019 Getting to Zero National Forum . The call for speakers will be released in early Februrary and registration opens in March. Visit gettingtozeroforum.org for more information.
  Sponsorship opportunities are available! Contact stacey@newbuildings.org  
Did you miss Zero Carbon/Energy Codes: Key Policy Tools To Meet Climate Goals webinar? Watch now on-demand
As governments of all scales consider options for meeting deep greenhouse gas reduction goals, attention has turned to how to achieve zero energy or zero emissions from new construction in the building sector, which is responsible for more than 40% of emissions in most urban areas. This webinar examines the policy and technical drivers for these codes, the varying structures for already published low- and zero-carbon codes and policies, and the complex role of renewable generation in implementing these codes as mandatory requirements.

Districts, projects, individuals honored for driving ZNE in new and existing school projects in California
The Yosemite Community College District Central Services Building was presented with the Outstanding Building, ZNE Verified award.
In late October, five exemplary individuals, school districts and school projects were honored with ZNE Schools Leadership Awards. These awards, administered by NBI on behalf of California’s investor‐owned utilities (IOUs), were given as recognition for their innovation and leadership in driving a new zero net energy (ZNE) standard for school environments. ZNE buildings represent high performance buildings that combine energy efficiency and renewable resources to produce at least as much energy as they consume annually, and California is leading the nation in the transformation of K-12 and community colleges to ZNE performance with over 40 ultra-low and ZNE schools operating or underway.

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by California’s investor-owned utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Retrofit-Ready Heat Pump Water Heater Summit aims to overcome market barriers
A group of leading building industry professionals, manufacturers, policy makers and program administrators gathered last October to define an approach to transform the market and scale the adoption of heat pump water heaters for California home retrofits. Participants worked to define the challenges and opportunities for shifting the nearly 80% of the market currently served by natural gas and propane to high efficiency heat pumps. Breakout sessions focused on developing a program framework and a technical specification for retrofit-ready heat pump water heaters. NBI staff facilitated the event.

Register for an upcoming webinar focusing on ZE schools
Thursday, February 14
12-1:00 PM Pacific/ 3-4:00 PM Eastern
Schools are leading the race to zero energy (ZE) construction with over 100 verified and emerging educational buildings across the country. These buildings are low-energy projects that consume only as much energy as they produce from renewable resources. Join this one-hour webinar where experts will highlight regional projects and discuss the process of stakeholder engagement, team selection, design and construction, as well as operating to ZE. Attendees will learn how to apply ZE practices to projects in their own districts to achieve healthier and productive learning spaces for teachers and students. ZE school buildings also save money on utility expenses--money that can be reinvested in the classroom. CMTA's Tony Hans and Amy Cortese of NBI will demonstrate why a growing number of school districts are getting on the path to zero, and proving that ZE is possible in both new construction and existing school retrofits.
Thursday, March 21
1-2:00 PM Pacific/ 4-5:00 PM Eastern
Zero energy schools are indeed possible and don't have to come with a premium price tag! Join this one-hour webinar focusing on new design guidance that helps school projects cost effectively achieve advanced levels of energy savings. NREL's Paul Torcellini will take us through the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Zero Energy K-12 School Buildings, which establishes a set of energy performance goals for achieving zero energy and outlines strategies for hitting energy targets. The guide builds upon the popular 50% AEDG series with new and updated recommendations. Reilly Loveland of NBI will present the ZE Schools Resource Hub, including California's Proposition 39 ZNE Pilot resources and other guides for getting to zero energy schools.
Thursday, April 25
12-1:00 PM Pacific/ 3-4:00 PM Eastern
The majority of school buildings operating today can achieve zero energy performance, and schools looking to upgrade campus buildings have resources they can use to achieve low-energy goals. Join this one-hour webinar highlighting lessons learned from school retrofits that reduce energy consumption enough to allow the remainder to be served with renewable systems such as photovoltaic panels. Industry experts including Alexis Karolides of Point Energy Innovations will brief attendees on the innovative approaches that teams are taking during the assessment and planning process when retrofitting on the path to zero. This information will be presented as case studies and models for replication in your own design. The webinar will also address operational considerations that are crucial for ongoing successful performance.
NBI in the News
Aiming for Zero Energy in Existing Buildings
Published by Facility Executive and written by NBI Senior Project Manager, Alexi Miller: As the extreme weather impacts of a changing climate become more urgent, cities and states are racing to put in place strategies that will reduce carbon emissions, including driving down the energy demand from local building stock.
RESTalk Interview with Eric Makela
Eric Makela, NBI Associate Director, takes us on a journey through energy codes in a new RESTalk interview. Learn how HERS raters influence the development of the IECC and more. Eric is an ideal tour guide, as he has spent the last 30 years training on this topic to practitioners in the building, design and enforcement industries in a variety of venues in over 20 states. Listen now
Radiating Efficiency
Published by Net Zero Buildings Magazine: Because of the drive for optimized energy efficiency, design teams need to look at alternative HVAC methods. Researchers, including NBI staff, report that radiant heating and cooling in commercial buildings are a viable solution for buildings to meet their goals. Read more
2018 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards
NBI CEO Ralph DiNola was recognized with an Honorable Mention for the
Tom Eckman Leadership in Energy Efficiency Lifetime Achievement Awards from Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA).
ThinkTech Hawaii: Less Energy Used Equals More Money
The first step in any energy project is to make the operation efficient, then design the energy system to handle the load plus any anticipated increase. NBI CEO Ralph DiNola spoke on a recent podcast about building efficiency, and what NBI does to help individuals, and professional builders renovate, design or build structures that use less energy and save money.  Watch the episode
Where we'll be: Catch up with NBI staff at these events
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