Quick Energy Efficiency News…Energy Savings for Maryland Multifamily…Schneider & California College First…Big Energy Storage in Illinois

July 14, 2015
Quick Energy Efficiency News…Saving energy in Maryland apartments…California community college achieves first in building energy management…Big renewable and energy storage projects in Illinois…Massachusetts boosts anaerobic digestion

Quick energy efficiency news for this week…

Pepco and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative have signed a contract with Energesco Solutions to provide energy and water efficiency for multifamily buildings in Maryland.

Both contracts were awarded under the Commercial Multifamily Program, a newly announced energy efficiency rebate program designed to support the EmPOWER Maryland initiative.

The Pepco contract applies to multifamily properties throughout Pepco’s 566 square miles of service area in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. The Commercial Multifamily Program, which launched in June 2015, is offered exclusively to multifamily properties in Maryland seeking to implement energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades. Under this newly announced program, multifamily properties will be eligible to receive enhanced rebates for energy efficiency projects, including apartment-level direct install measures, LED light upgrades, and HVAC enhancements.

Energy costs represent the single largest controllable cost in a multifamily community, typically accounting for 25 to 35 percent of a property’s expenses. Reducing energy use by 15 percent in a typical 250-unit master-metered community can increase net operating income and can enhance asset value by an estimated $1 million or more (using a six percent capitalization rate). Prior to the launch of these programs, multifamily owners and operators were generally only eligible to receive energy efficiency rebates for upgrades to common areas.  Under the new programs, multifamily owners and operators are now eligible for energy efficiency rebates for upgrades throughout the entire complex.


Schneider Electric will provide energy efficiency services to San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) in California.

The project will focus on energy and operational efficiency across three district campuses and will include the installation of utility metering technology, new user interfaces for building and utility management and advanced system analytics. The upgrades will create a cohesive facility management system that will help increase efficiency, improve maintenance and operations capabilities and assure 82 buildings throughout the district support student learning while reducing energy waste.

Schneider Electric will upgrade building automation and control systems and install its Building Analytics solution, which provides continuous real-time analysis of all building systems and converts data into actionable insights to identify energy and cost-saving opportunities.

SMCCCD is the first community college in California to bring building control, energy management and building analytics onto one platform, allowing facility managers to visualize, analyze and realize significant energy savings. Once completed later this year, the district will have the ability to continually monitor and improve its energy performance from a single interface.


DNV GL will provide technical and financial due diligence on two energy storage projects from Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES),one of the top renewable energy companies in North America. These two projects together will comprise one of the largest energy storage deployments in North America, according to the companies.

The projects will provide frequency regulation service to support grid efficiency.

“As the value of energy storage for grid reliability gains recognition nationwide, projects like the two being developed by RES are playing a growing role by better leveraging existing utility assets,” said Thomas McNulty, DNV GL due diligence project manager. “The ability of energy storage to support grid efficiency through frequency regulation is another important benefit because storage is capable of ramping up and down generation assets within milliseconds. Our work will evaluate the soundness of all aspects of the projects and verify performance against expectations.”

RES is constructing the two 19.8 MW energy storage systems, each able to store 7.8 MWh. RES anticipates completing construction on the Jake Energy Storage Center in Joliet, IL, and the Elwood Energy Storage Center in West Chicago, IL, in the third quarter of 2015.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center awarded $1.1 million in funding for three projects across Massachusetts that will convert organic materials into energy.

Each award will support the development of anaerobic digestion facilities in the communities of Bourne, Freetown and Hadley.

Anaerobic digestion is a process that converts a variety of organic material – that would otherwise be considered waste – into electricity and heat. These projects are intended to use these materials as a fuel to generate energy and heat. MassCEC is funding these projects to help three organizations operate systems that reduce waste, cut energy use and generate local sources of energy.

The funding comes from the Renewable Energy Trust, which was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1998 as part of the deregulation of the electric utility market. The trust is funded by a systems benefit charge paid by electric customers of investor-owned utilities in Massachusetts, such as Eversource or National Grid, as well as municipal electric departments that have opted to participate in the program.

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About the Author

Kevin Normandeau | Publisher

Kevin is a veteran of the publishing industry having worked for brands like PC World, AOL, Network World, Data Center Knowledge and other business to business sites. He focuses on industry trends in the energy efficiency industry.