Energy Efficient Unit Refurbishments in Public Housing


As a team member in the Department of Energy Building America Program, the Center is helping to develop packages of energy efficiency retrofit measures that Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) can cost-effectively implement when units are refurbished between occupancies. Over one million HUD-supported public housing units provide rental housing for eligible low-income families across the country. These units range from scattered single-family houses to high-rise apartments. This project – which is being conducted in cooperation with ARIES, another Building America team - will consist of a field evaluation in which energy audits will be performed on a sample of PHA units, a protocol will be developed for typical units, the protocol will be implemented by PHA staff, and the effectiveness of the protocol will be quantified through field testing and modeling. Finally an outreach strategy will be developed based on the results of this project for the public housing audience allowing other PHA’s to repeat the success of the program.

USEPA Supermarket Toolkit


Building upon CBK’s experience in the food sales industry throughout the Northeast region, the Center was awarded a USEPA Region 2 grant for a Pollution Prevention project.  Under this program, CBK developed and deployed a web application offering no and low-cost strategies for improving energy efficiency and reducing pollution at supermarkets throughout the Northeast region. The online self-diagnostic and training tool will focuses methods that reduce energy use and reduce refrigerant leakage, a major contributor to the greenhouse gas effect. This project employs the power of web applications to serve specific market segments with pertinent information developed in consultation with industry representatives so as to make energy and resource efficiency their standard practice. 

PSE&G Supermarket Toolkit


In support of the PSE&G Retro-Commissioning Program, CBK expanded upon its original scope of services to develop an online toolkit that captures the knowledge acquired in the program in a format that can be used as an energy savings management system.  The toolkit alerts users to scheduled maintenance activities and then facilitates evaluation of their current EE status using a previously established EnergyStar Portfolio Manager account.   The goal of the toolkit is to extend the persistence of the savings generated at the participating stores for a longer period of time, increasing their return on investment and, in the process, hopefully transforming the market by developing a cohort of skilled building operators capable of realizing such savings throughout their parent organizations.

Retro-Commissioning Pilot Program


CBK, in service to Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), designed and implemented a Retro-Commissioning (RCx) Pilot Program targeted to the unique needs and motivations of supermarkets and their respective service contractors. The Pilot program design is the first New Jersey program targeted to maintaining energy efficient facility operations through no and/or low cost measures, training, education and monitoring. Program participation included 35 individual stores from 7 of the largest supermarket chains in the Northeast.  

New Jersey Utility Working Group: Filing Facilitation


CBK was asked to facilitate a collaborative effort among 7 utilities in New Jersey – Atlantic City Electric, Elizabethtown Gas, Jersey Central Power and Light, New Jersey Natural Gas, Orange Rockland Electric, PSE&G, and South Jersey Gas – in response to a request from the office of then-Governor Corzine which was preparing to implement a special stimulus program focused on energy efficiency.  CBK’s role was to act as an independent third party to facilitate – and serve as secretariat for - meetings and discussions among and between the participating utilities.  CBK’s purpose was to help the utilities:

  • Determine which programs were best suited to be delivered in a collaborative fashion by all the participating utilities.
  • Decide which programs are best suited to be delivered by individual utilities or small groups of utilities.
  • Decide which utility programs also support programs offered through the NJ Clean Energy Program.

At the conclusion of the facilitation effort, CBK also assisted the participants in preparing energy efficiency program filings that would be in accordance with the principles outlined in the NJ Energy Master Plan of October 2008 and with the RGGI minimum filing requirements as defined by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. 

Utility Incentive Program Guide


This guide will help building owners in the Philadelphia 10 county region understand the financial incentive programs available in the region for energy efficient upgrades. Building owners can use the maps and zip code tables to determine the programs available to them based on building local on and utility service provider. Each program description includes a link to further information.


Somerset County High Performance Public Buildings Program


The Somerset County High Performance Public Buildings Program is focused on creating buildings that protect taxpayer investment with reduced building operating costs and increased user productivity. The program has 18 requirements in the areas of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. The Somerset County Program is based on the US Green Building Council’s LEED™ New Construction rating system. Fulfillment of the Somerset County Program requirements also fulfills all of the LEED™ prerequisites and 16 additional LEED™ credits. Therefore, if a design team is interested in pursuing LEED™ Certification or beyond, the Somerset County Program can put a project well on its way.


Program Requirements.pdf

Policy and Implementation SEP1707.pdf

PNC case study.pdf


Saving Energy in Leased Spaces (SELS)


This online toolkit provides resources, training and tools – primarily targeted toward commercial building owners, managers and tenants – organized into three core areas that track the tenant leasing process:

  • Saving Energy in Existing Leases
  • Saving Energy in New Leases
  • Saving Energy during Tenant Improvement
  • Each of these sections of the toolkit contains the following three elements:

Training Module: Each roughly one hour course focuses on three key areas where tenants, landlords and building owners can save energy: plug and process loads; lighting; and HVAC. The course goes through the value proposition for taking on an energy efficiency upgrade to an existing space; maps out a process for implementing such an upgrade; and provides detailed explanations of key technical activities that tenants can undertake to improve the energy performance of their leased spaces.

Tools and Checklists: Embedded interactive checklists that tenants can use to inventory their key plug and process loads and generate an estimate of the energy that can be saved by eliminating or upgrading them.

Resource Library: Each Resource Library contains a variety of documents specific to the area of energy savings covered in the training module. These documents – derived from a range of public, private and non-profit sources –provide additional information on plug loads and the current state-of-practice in improving the energy efficiency of existing leased space.

Residential Lighting Energy Use Reduction Study


The Center received an Energy Technology Demonstration Grant from Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) for the Residential Lighting Energy Use Reduction project. This project studied the potential of vacancy sensors to reduce residential lighting energy use. Vacancy sensors turn off lights when spaces are unoccupied for anywhere from five to 30 minutes, depending on the programmed setting. A key distinction between vacancy sensors and occupancy sensors is that with vacancy sensors the lights are manually turned on and will not coming on automatically when the room is entered. The study monitored lighting use in designated rooms within 30 townhouses and flats for one year. During the first six months, utilization monitors tracked when the lights were on and when the rooms were occupied or not. This established the baseline of lighting use. After six months, vacancy sensors were installed in the monitored rooms. Following the 12 month monitoring period, data analysis will show the difference in lighting use before and after the installation of the vacancy sensors.   This research was intended to serve as a basis for a potential vacancy sensor utility incentive program.  Final analysis and project results are in process, but preliminary results show that savings can be significant.

Somerset County High Performance Public Buildings Program Toolkit


The Somerset County High Performance Public Buildings Program (The Somerset County Program) was developed by the SCBP with assistance from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Center for Architecture and Building Science Research (CABSR). Funding for development of the Somerset County Program was provided by Johnson and Johnson, AT&T and HSBC.

The Somerset County Program was developed as a green building program that could be adopted by any of the Somerset County’s 21 municipalities, and is intended to apply to county, municipal and educational buildings. The Somerset County Program’s purpose is to create new public sector buildings that protect taxpayer investment by focusing on requirements that reduce building operating costs and increased user productivity.  It also serves as a demystified path to high performance building. The program requirements are taken from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design New Construction (LEED™ NC) rating system and incorporates requirements in the areas of: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. There are 18 requirements in all. Each program requirement was included to serve Somerset County’s pursuit of creating high performance buildings using the most essential, practical measures. The requirements balance cost effectiveness with optimal building performance and user health and productivity.

The Somerset County Program does not address site issues, beyond addressing soil erosion during construction. While site issues are critical to high performance buildings, they are also very project specific; for that reason, there are no requirements in this area. It is anticipated that any project participating in the Program would certainly consider site selection and site design strategies that enhance building performance. 

Link to Toolkit



Subscribe to Center for Building Knowledge RSS