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Title: America Saves! Energizing Main Street's Small Businesses

Abstract

The America Saves! Energizing Main Street Small Businesses project engaged the 1,200-member National Main Street Center (NMSC) network of downtown organizations and other local, regional, and national partners to test a methodology for sharing customized energy efficiency information with owners of commercial buildings smaller than 50,000 square feet. Led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Green Lab, the project marshalled local staff and volunteers to gather voluntarily-disclosed energy use information from participating businesses. This information was analyzed using a remote auditing tool (validated by the National Renewable Energy Lab) to assess energy savings opportunities and design retrofit strategies targeting seven building types (food service and sales, attached mixed-use, strip mall, retail, office, lodging, and schools). The original project design contemplated extensive leveraging of the Green Button protocol for sharing annualized utility data at a district scale. Due the lack of adoption of Green Button, the project partners developed customized approaches to data collection in each of twelve pilot communities. The project team encountered considerable challenges in gathering standardized annual utility data from local partners. After overcoming these issues, the data was uploaded to a data storehouse. Over 450 properties were benchmarked and the remote auditing tool was testedmore » using full building profiles and utility records for more than 100 commercial properties in three of the pilot communities. The audit tool demonstrated potential for quickly capturing, analyzing, and communicating energy efficiency opportunities in small commercial buildings. However, the project team found that the unique physical characteristics and use patterns (partial vacancy, periodic intensive uses) of small commercial buildings required more trouble-shooting and data correction than was anticipated. In addition, the project revealed that remote technology alone (such as audits) is not sufficient to convince most owners of commercial buildings or businesses to invest in energy efficiency. Additional, one-on-one personal communication is critical. A combination of technology and well-planned direct contact is likely to produce the highest rate of energy efficiency implementation in the small commercial building market sector. Note that only two of the three planned phases of this project were completed. As a result, research and testing were not fully implemented and thus all results and conclusions from the America Saves! Energizing Main Street Small Businesses project should be considered preliminary. In addition to the National Main Street Center, local organizations, and regional utilities, the America Saves! project partners included the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Energy Center of Wisconsin (Seventh Wave), Lend Lease, Building Energy, and Energy RM.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1344307
Report Number(s):
DOE-NTHP-EE0006291
2025886035
DOE Contract Number:
EE0006291
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY

Citation Formats

Lindberg, James. America Saves! Energizing Main Street's Small Businesses. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1344307.
Lindberg, James. America Saves! Energizing Main Street's Small Businesses. United States. doi:10.2172/1344307.
Lindberg, James. 2016. "America Saves! Energizing Main Street's Small Businesses". United States. doi:10.2172/1344307. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1344307.
@article{osti_1344307,
title = {America Saves! Energizing Main Street's Small Businesses},
author = {Lindberg, James},
abstractNote = {The America Saves! Energizing Main Street Small Businesses project engaged the 1,200-member National Main Street Center (NMSC) network of downtown organizations and other local, regional, and national partners to test a methodology for sharing customized energy efficiency information with owners of commercial buildings smaller than 50,000 square feet. Led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Green Lab, the project marshalled local staff and volunteers to gather voluntarily-disclosed energy use information from participating businesses. This information was analyzed using a remote auditing tool (validated by the National Renewable Energy Lab) to assess energy savings opportunities and design retrofit strategies targeting seven building types (food service and sales, attached mixed-use, strip mall, retail, office, lodging, and schools). The original project design contemplated extensive leveraging of the Green Button protocol for sharing annualized utility data at a district scale. Due the lack of adoption of Green Button, the project partners developed customized approaches to data collection in each of twelve pilot communities. The project team encountered considerable challenges in gathering standardized annual utility data from local partners. After overcoming these issues, the data was uploaded to a data storehouse. Over 450 properties were benchmarked and the remote auditing tool was tested using full building profiles and utility records for more than 100 commercial properties in three of the pilot communities. The audit tool demonstrated potential for quickly capturing, analyzing, and communicating energy efficiency opportunities in small commercial buildings. However, the project team found that the unique physical characteristics and use patterns (partial vacancy, periodic intensive uses) of small commercial buildings required more trouble-shooting and data correction than was anticipated. In addition, the project revealed that remote technology alone (such as audits) is not sufficient to convince most owners of commercial buildings or businesses to invest in energy efficiency. Additional, one-on-one personal communication is critical. A combination of technology and well-planned direct contact is likely to produce the highest rate of energy efficiency implementation in the small commercial building market sector. Note that only two of the three planned phases of this project were completed. As a result, research and testing were not fully implemented and thus all results and conclusions from the America Saves! Energizing Main Street Small Businesses project should be considered preliminary. In addition to the National Main Street Center, local organizations, and regional utilities, the America Saves! project partners included the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Energy Center of Wisconsin (Seventh Wave), Lend Lease, Building Energy, and Energy RM.},
doi = {10.2172/1344307},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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