Nebraska Initiative-Benchmarking and Beyond
With the assistance of a $300,000 cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE), the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has a goal to have all Nebraska state government buildings which can be benchmarked in the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager completed by 2020.
The Nebraska Initiative-Benchmarking and Beyond (NIBB), will include recommendations for a state building benchmarking policy, training for state government building operators, building energy use data collection and benchmarking training for university interns, and a benchmarking curriculum available for middle and high school teachers and their students.
The Energy Office will collaborate with other stakeholders to coordinate a work-force development training component of the project that will provide three training opportunities for state government building managers: Building Operator Certification (BOC) program though the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA); Certified Energy Manager training through the Association of Energy Engineers; and ECO 24/7 training by Omaha-based Biz-Tech. These courses are competency-based training and certification program, focused on providing energy-saving operational strategies for maintenance and operations staff and technicians. In addition, training will be provided to UNL student-interns and high school students and teachers to benchmark buildings using Portfolio Manager.
What's NIBB's Purpose?
This project is unique in the fact that not only will we be able to benchmark state buildings to find areas in energy use that can be reduced, but building operators will be given the tools and training necessary to reduce those energy costs. NIBB will also be educating the next generation about the importance of benchmarking in the use of reducing energy waste.
This first step of establishing an energy efficiency baseline will lead to recommendations for a state-wide policy of annual benchmarking for all state buildings and voluntary participation by local governments receiving state aid.
Who's Joined NIBB?
Other stakeholders and supporters of the NIBB include the League of Nebraska Municipalities, Nebraska Association of County Officials, Community Energy Alliance, Nebraskans for Solar, Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Green Schools Program, Nebraska Department of Administrative Services and the Nebraska Public Power Districts.
This initiative reflects Governor Pete Ricketts work to reduce state government spending by identifying areas where energy efficiency measures can help reduce energy costs. It also will further the Energy & Assistance's mission to "promote the efficient, economic and environmentally responsible use of energy."