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Posts tagged ‘energy star’

The Salt Lake City School District Saves Energy and Conserves Resources

By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

Greg Libecci of the Salt Lake City School District chronicles some of the achievements he’s helped realize after nine years as the Energy and Resource Manager for dozens of schools. His work led to the school district receiving a 2015 Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Award from Salt Lake City. Thanks for all you do Greg!

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Greg Libecci, right, stands near solar panels being installed at Hillside Middle School in Salt Lake City.

School’s out this week, but that doesn’t mean Greg Libecci takes the summer off.

His role as Energy and Resource Manager means he works year-round to identify and implement energy efficiency projects to save the Salt Lake City School District energy and money.

What led him to this role?

After several years of working in corporate sales for a telecom company, Greg began to notice energy waste everywhere. Things that were not being used were often left on, racking up unnecessary expenses and negatively impacting the environment.

He was certainly on to something with these observations, since the excessive consumption of energy resources worldwide is recognized as an important contributor to climate change.

Greg was drawn into the sustainability field because he saw how simple it could be to prevent unnecessary energy use. He was excited by the solvable nature of the problem.

When the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) created the Energy and Resource Manager position nine years ago in an effort to save the District money on utility costs, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Greg to pursue his newfound passion for energy conservation.

Not only would he have the opportunity to directly implement important sustainability initiatives at a large organization, but he would also have the chance to work with students, something that remains an extremely rewarding part of his job.

Since Greg took the position, the school district has seen huge reductions in energy and natural gas use. In comparison with their baseline year of 2009, 2017 saw an 11% decrease in electricity use and a 23% decrease in natural gas usage.

This translates to a 4,400 ton reduction of CO2 emissions for 2017! Read more

August 31 Panel Discussion: Learn how your business can save energy and money

A PANEL DISCUSSION

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Calling all local businesses!

The Downtown Merchants Association and SLCgreen invite you to
a panel discussion with local businesses and property owners as
they discuss how to become more energy efficient and promote
green practices.

Heavy appetizers and drinks will be served courtesy of Cucina Toscana.

When: AUGUST 31, 2017 | 5PM – 6:30

Where: Cucina Toscana: 282 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Panelists: Read more

Nerdy Energy Science Saves SLC Money and Pollution

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Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building is the first Net Zero facility of its kind in the country. Even so, energy benchmarking and tune-ups helped us realize even more dollar and emissions savings.

Did you know that our buildings, homes, and small businesses contribute over a third of the pollution that obscures the valley during the winter?

Also known as “area sources,” this sector is the second-largest source of emissions and is forecasted to become the largest one in the coming years (as cars continually get cleaner due to federal regulations).

This is why everything we can do to reduce emissions from our homes and buildings can make a difference to our environment and public health.  It’s also why the City is focused on educating residents and businesses about the crucial role of efficiency to our airshed and to our carbon footprint. To this end, we provide guides for home improvements, including details on thermostat controls, home insulation and efficient appliances to help move residential buildings toward a cleaner energy future.

Our skyline’s largest buildings also have a role to play. While there is no “silver bullet” for wiping away all of Salt Lake City’s air pollution problems, the city’s commercial buildings can help simply by measuring their energy usage and making efficiency improvements where feasible. Read more

Salt Lake City Partners with Utilities to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

Last Friday, Salt Lake City was recognized by The White House and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its efforts to unlock access to energy data for building owners and improve energy efficiency.

Since 2013, Salt Lake City has partnered with both Rocky Mountain Power and Questar to provide whole-building energy data access to building owners through the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool. The effort, which is on track for completion in 2017, will ensure effortless energy data management for building owners, providing a complete picture as to building energy use and enabling them to employ more responsive strategies.

“Salt Lake City, Rocky Mountain Power and Questar are working together to help building owners understand how their building is operating and to identify opportunities to improve energy management,” says Vicki Bennett, sustainability director for Salt Lake City. “By automating and streamlining the process, more Salt Lake City building owners will be able to improve energy efficiency – ultimately saving energy, money and emissions.”

Salt Lake City is committed to improving air quality, and buildings play an important role in emissions. The most recent data from the Utah Division of Air Quality show that 39% of existing air pollution comes from area sources (i.e. homes and businesses). This percentage is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years as vehicles become more efficient, making building energy efficiency efforts more and more important.

Last week, Mayor Jackie Biskupski extended an invitation to leading industry experts to share their ideas and best practices for energy efficiency in buildings, as part of the Elevate Buildings process.

“There is nothing more important than the air we breathe, and working to clear our skies is a top priority of my administration,” says Mayor Biskupksi. “By collaborating with industry experts we will help improve air quality through increased energy efficiency our city’s largest buildings.”

Learn more about Salt Lake City’s efforts to cut energy waste in buildings at SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline.

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Project Skyline: BOMA Utah Launches Kilowatt Crackdown

SLCgreen applauds Project Skyline partner BOMA Utah on bringing building efficiency awareness to their members statewide.

BOMA Utah, which represents over 50 million square feet of commercial buildings in the state, wants to do its part to support ambitious carbon reduction goals from both the State of Utah and Salt Lake City. BOMA Utah members with portfolios in Salt Lake City are also encouraged to join the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Skyline Challenge.

Read on to learn more about the Kilowatt Crackdown!

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BOMA Utah launches 2015 “Kilowatt Crackdown”

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Utah is launching its 2015 Kilowatt Crackdown competition as part of Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s Utah Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s Project Skyline.

BOMA Utah, which represents over 50 million square feet of commercial buildings in Utah, wants to do its part to support ambitious carbon reduction goals from both the State of Utah and Salt Lake City.

“Utah’s large commercial buildings consume considerable amounts of energy and many could use energy-efficiency upgrades”, said BOMA Utah President Lorrie Ostlind, Senior Portfolio Manager at Commerce Real Estate Solutions. “We’ve assembled a great partnership to create valuable opportunity for Utah’s building owners to save energy, save money and improve their buildings.”

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, buildings in the United States account for more than 40 percent of total energy consumption and about 72 percent of electricity consumption.  If current trends continue, it is estimated that buildings will be the largest global energy consumers by 2025.

“The Kilowatt Crackdown” competition supports voluntary benchmarking of energy use that is evaluated based on real data and allows us to maintain a leadership position in energy reduction”, said BOMA Utah Vice President Justin Farnsworth, Vice President of Asset Services at Newmark Grubb ACRES.

Participating buildings will benchmark energy performance through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager Tool and seek to improve their performance over time.

“Prospective tenants demand efficient, environmental-friendly buildings and are willing to pay for it”, said Ostlind.  “Benchmarking for improved performance keeps us competitive in the marketplace, and will help us deliver on our economic development goals to foster the next wave of innovation in sustainable buildings”.

About the Kilowatt Crackdown Competition

Kilowatt Crackdown is the energy-saving competition where “every building wins” and offers participants the following:

  • A promotional package from our valued partners offering various discounts on energy related products and services, including engineering certification for properties that qualify for the ENERGY STAR label – a score of 75 or more.
  • Advertising and recognition of your participation in the contest.
  • Assistance with identifying ECMs through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager.
  • Technical support and data review of your ENERGY STAR benchmarking profile.
  • Satisfaction from being a leader in the Utah market.

Participants wishing to enter their buildings into the TOBY Awards program can utilize their Energy Star ratings and reports for the International requirements.

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Project Skyline: October Recap

Building Operator Certification

Beginning in October, Salt Lake City facilities staff began attending the Level 1 Building Operator Certification training as part of the City’s internal efforts to lead by example and meet the overall energy goals of Project Skyline. BOC training focuses on the improved operating efficiencies that can be realized in existing buildings by ensuring that mechanical systems are properly functioning and synchronized with each other. While this may sound like an obvious course of action, many existing buildings systems do not function as they are designed. BOC training explores the methods of evaluating and fine-tuning building systems to cut energy waste and maintain maximum efficiency.

Members of Salt Lake City building staff are very enthusiastic about what they have already gained from these courses. “My work in the facilities division is on the preventative maintenance team, and the first few days of this course were closely related to my day-to-day assignments,” says Ron Lindquist of Public Services Facilities

What’s most compelling about the BOC training is the focus on major building efficiencies that can be gained from no-cost measures. Salt Lake City plans to continue participating in these training opportunities in the future.

Energy Star Certification Nation

To celebrate 15 years of ENERGY STAR certification for buildings, EPA launches Certification Nation 2014, awarding special recognition for multiple-building certifications. If your buildings have an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or better, there has never been a better year to certify. Join today!

Project Skyline Welcomes new participant Fidelity Investments

Fidelity focuses its environmental sustainability efforts on the tangible steps they can take to minimize the effect our operations may have on the environment. In that regard, they focus on reducing consumption of resources such as paper, water, and energy. As a result they are  expanding LEED® certification to 65% of the North American corporate real estate portfolio to 6 million square feet of green office space.

October News

Project Skyline attends the Intermountain Healthcare Energy Summit

On October 29th, Intermountain Healthcare, one of our Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participants, hosted the company’s Energy Summit at the Marriott City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City. The day-long event featured panel discussions, break-out sessions, as well as the announcement of the Intermountain Energy Innovator of the Year award. The panel discussions explored the topics of Utah’s Energy Landscape and Energy Demand Management, and featured a long list of experts including Dr. Laura Nelson, Utah Director of Energy Development. While each of the panel discussions were engaging and insightful, one of the most remarkable aspects of the event  was seeing the level of focus placed on energy management by  Intermountain Healthcare. The Project Skyline team was happy to be in attendance and learn first-hand from Intermountain’s own expert energy staff as well as their guest speakers. Congratulations on a successful Energy Summit Intermountain Healthcare!

Project Skyline hosted another successful workshop

The Mayor’s Skyline Challenge workshop series continues, most recently with our October 30th installment that focused on Energy Action Plans. An Energy Action Plan serves as the road map for how you will move forward with efficiency improvement projects.

Leslie Cook of Energy Star took attendees through the various components of an energy action plan and what tools are available on Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to assist in this process. Next, Troy Jensen of Intermountain Healthcare answered questions from attendees about the company’s own 10-year strategic energy plan. All of this tool place over coffee and pastries sponsored by official Project Skyline partner Rocky Mountain Power.

Thanks again to our presenters Leslie Cook and Troy Jensen, as well as Energy Star, Intermountain Healthcare and Rocky Mountain Power for sponsoring our breakfast.  We hope to see another great attendance at the next fall workshop on November 19th for presentations on building commissioning and recommissioning.

Project Skyline at the 2014 USGBC Green Build Conference and Expo

Thank you to the Challenge participants who have recently submitted 2013 baseline data. If you haven’t submitted the 2013 baseline data for your participating buildings yet, please visit this link to get started!

Project Skyline director, Sonal Kemkar, attended the USGBC Green Build Conference last week in New Orleans to discuss the progress being made on commercial building efficiency in Salt Lake City. In addition to highlighting the newest technologies in green building design, the conference brought together leadership from various levels of government and the real estate community who are working on the next-generation of energy efficiency programs. With the launch of the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, Salt Lake City joins cities like New York, Denver, and Atlanta who are also working with local business leaders on increasing awareness of building performance. Salt Lake City joined members of USGBC and USGBC Utah, AIA, and BOMA at the annual conference.

Project Skyline: September Recap

Congratulations to Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participant, University of Utah

Project Skyline congratulates the University of Utah and Energy Manager Jeff Wrigley for the national recognition they received for their commitment to energy efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy. “The University’s efforts showcase strategies that can be replicated at similar buildings, institutions and facilities across America,” said Dave Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Read the full press release here.

September News

Project Skyline was pleased to be invited by Challenge Partner BOMA Utah to their September 4th lunch and learn.

ENERGY STAR introduced and demonstrated the core functionality of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Attendees were able to learn more about the tool and engage in a more in depth discussion with ENERGY STAR leadership. Look out for information on future BOMA Utah educational events. Check out the webinar here.

Challenge partner USGBC Utah hosted a Project Skyline workshop on Efficiency Project Planning & Implementation Strategies on September 12th.

On Friday September 12th, Project Skyline hosted its first Mayor’s Skyline Challenge workshop with USGBC Utah. This workshop included a great line up of speakers that each offered their own expertise in the world of building energy efficiency, with plenty of opportunities to engage with the audience and lead the discussion.

Nexant offered an overview the energy efficiency project process, ETC Group presented their Top 10 energy efficiency strategies for existing buildings, and the University of Utah’s energy manager Jeff Wrigley presented a case study on efficiency improvements made to the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.

This was an excellent start to the workshop series, and Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participants can expect future installments to offer just as much insight and engagement. Thanks again to USGBC Utah, Nexant, ETC Group and the University of Utah Facilities Management for sharing your expertise and forwarding building energy efficiency in the Salt Lake City community.

Project Skyline gets highlighted at national Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) annual meeting.

Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett and Sustainability Program Manager Tyler Poulson were invited to the national USDN meeting to discuss how local governments can help to scale up energy efficiency and net zero energy buildings.

Please join us in welcoming our newest Challenge participant, Architectural Nexus. See their profile here.

Upcoming webinars hosted by national experts

September 24, 11:00-12:30 PM (MDT) – Portfolio Manager 201
Continue to learn about EPA’s new ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, with a deeper dive into more advanced functionalities such as managing and tracking changes to your property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to update property data, setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties, generating and using custom reports, and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist. Register

September 25, 2:00-3:30 PM (MDT) – Community-Based Social Marketing
This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs.  The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program, including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation.  Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors. Register

Upcoming Project Skyline educational events

October: Creating an Energy Action Plan hosted by Challenge partner ENERGY STAR

November: Commissioning and Retro-commissioning hosted by Challenge partner Rocky Mountain Power

Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you to the Challenge participants who have recently submitted 2013 baseline data. If you haven’t submitted the 2013 baseline data for your participating buildings yet, please visit this link to get started!