Low to No Cost Strategy for Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings (Text Version)
Electronic Voice: The broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in listen-only mode.
Carolyn Sarno: Good morning or good afternoon, everybody, depending on where you are located. I am Carolyn Sarno. I'm the senior program manager for Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. We are a regional nonprofit that's located in Lexington, Massachusetts, and we will be the host for this Webinar this afternoon on "Low-to-No-Cost Strategies for Public Buildings."
I'm going to be joined a little bit today by my colleague, Ed Londergan, who's going to review a little bit about our technical assistance network that we're part of, and I just wanted to go over some housekeeping matters. I know we're waiting for a few more attendees to join, but if you have questions or any technical difficulties throughout this broadcast, please feel free to type them into the question box on the "Go To" meeting tab.
Now at the end of this presentation I will be taking questions. You can feel free to type those in as well, but all questions will be answered at the end of the broadcast, as well as the presentation will be posted on the DOE site. At the end we also invite you to fill out a survey about letting us know how we did on this presentation.
So to start off for the Webinar I would like to give you just a brief introduction to the technical assistance and a little bit about me. We're going to be reviewing low-to-no-cost strategies, sharing with you some success stories, some resources that are available to you free on the Web, and upcoming Webinars that might be of additional assistance for you.
At this point I'm going to turn it over to Ed Londergan, who's going to explain a little bit more about our technical assistance program.
Ed Londergan: Thanks, Carolyn. Good afternoon, everyone. Through the technical assistance program the Department of Energy has launched an effort to assist Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant and State Energy Program Recovery Act recipients, and this effort is really aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Recovery Act's project and programs, as well as improving their performance. In addition, we're looking to increase the return on and sustain the Recovery Act's investments, as well as building protracted clean energy capacity at the state, local and tribal levels. Now the Technical Assistance Program was developed to provide state and local official's access to a network of financial and technical experts for assistance with their energy efficiency policies and programs, and the goal is to help eligible grantees develop and implement successful clean energy projects and programs that meet the conditions and the guidelines of the federal grant programs.
Our next slide I will go through and talk about how the Technical Assistance Program can help you. Now it offers a variety of resources to assist grantees. One of those is where we work directly with participants, preferably with grantees. And two examples of those, something we've done recently, are that a grantee was considering having energy audits done at three older municipal buildings, and they needed information on how to go about that and what to look for when developing and evaluating requests - proposals for the audits. So to help them we developed a guide to municipal energy audits, which they found very helpful.
Now in another example we had a situation where a grantee, which was a large city in the northeast, as part of an energy efficiency citywide effort, they were in the process of putting together a guide for their employees. So we worked with them in developing a municipal energy efficiency and conservation policy document for their employees, which again they found very helpful.
There are also quite a few online resources, including Webinars such as this, as well as an events calendar, blog and a list of best practices, and those can be found at the Technical Assistance Solution Center, which really should be your first stop if you're looking for assistance, and that Website can be found in the list at the end of the presentation.
But once you're there, you can also log in to request technical assistance from any of the technical assistance program team members. And as you can see on the right-hand side of the slide, these cover a wide range of sport: everything from working on state and local building issues, renewable energy efficiency technologies, planning foundation and design, financing and performance contracting. So it covers quite a range of resources. On the next slide, let me tell you a little bit about who Team 4 is, and that's what Carolyn and I are part of. Team 4 is comprised of nine energy efficiency organizations from around the country, and we provide expertise and assistance in plan implementation and design. The team members include Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, which acts as the project manager for Team 4, but we also have the Energy Futures Group and then the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, as well as Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships where Carolyn and I are from. And then the Southwest Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy.
We work closely with each other to help solve the needs of grantees. So, for example, if someone in the southwest has a request that that organization, the SEP, does not have expertise in, they will contact one of the other team members, and we'd all work together to help that grantee, and we've done this numerous times since the program began.
Now there is a list of the Team 4 contacts at the end of the presentation, and if you have any questions about how we can assist you, then you should contact the regional coordinator for your area. If by any chance you want to, you can send me an email also, or Carolyn. We'll be happy to coordinate any assistance we can for you. Okay?
Carolyn, back to you.
Carolyn Sarno: Thanks, Ed. That was a great overview of the program. So just to start off today, when we talk about our existing buildings and strategies for making our public facilities more energy efficient, I always like to start off with a few definitions.
So the first definition, and things that you probably all have heard is the term "conservation." So I want you to think about conservation in the terms of turning off a light bulb. Energy efficiency would use a better bulb, so just because you turn a piece of equipment off or you turn off a light switch, doesn't necessarily mean that that product or that light is energy efficient.
Other definitions and things that you commonly hear these days, and it's hard to escape from the media, is the term "energy efficiency" as I was just using, and I want you to think about what energy efficiency means to you. Another term you hear a lot of these days is the term "green."
Think about green and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency generally tends to be the equipment or the lighting within that building, or how efficient a building can be. Green tends to be the materials or the cleaning products that are in that building. Think about if you could be a green and an energy efficient, are they interchangeable? And the answer to that really is no. You could be an energy-efficient building, but not be a green building in meaning that you could be using high chemical cleaning products or you could have materials within that building that have high volatile organic compounds, VOCs.
What we want to get to are high-performance buildings. We want to take not only our new building stock, but our existing building stock, and make them high performance. So that's the terminology that we're going to use today.
The characteristics of a high-performance building is one that provides superior indoor environmental quality. Superior indoor environmental quality is maybe a new terminology to some of you. A lot of people are fairly familiar with the term "indoor air quality." Indoor air quality and acoustics together create indoor environmental quality.
Energy efficiency means that the building is going to be at least 20 percent more energy efficient, and it's also going to reduce impact on the environment.
Now take a moment, and this is the one that's very difficult as I'm sitting in my own office now, I'm sure my cohorts are laughing at me, but buildings should be. This is the moment when I give this presentation that I like to really engage with the audience to ask that question of what do you want from your building. So I ask all of you, as you're sitting in your own office now or if you're sitting with your colleagues, to think about what you want from your building. What should they be?
Now some of the things I think that some of you may have said or, as I've heard when I go around and talk to a lot of facilities managers, is that you want your buildings to be low cost. You want them to be cheap. You want them easy to maintain, comfortable, energy efficient, reduce its impact on the environment. You want it to be healthy. You want it to be a great place to work, and you want low operating cost.
Now there's probably a thousand other answers, and there's really no wrong answer here, but think about what you want your buildings to be. How do you want it to affect your daily operating of that building or your daily work life within that facility?
There's also a lot of economic implications for not having high-performance buildings? And that is that this is a great picture, if you can think of what it looks like right now, it happens to look like a bookcase, what most people think that it is. This is actually a picture of a unit ventilator in a school that's covered with mittens. That's where their fresh air is coming from. By blocking vents, such as this, it uses 25 percent more energy, and this is common not only in school buildings, but in regular senior centers or in other public facilities, but it tends to be common practice that people use these kinds of blocking vents or use unit ventilators as shelves, but they're not shelving units. They're actually a way to provide fresh air or heat, and blocking them can greatly affect the energy use of that building.
But more importantly in terms of respiratory health conditions, one third of sick leave is actually due to respiratory healthy problems, and we need to make sure that we're giving fresh adequate air into our built environments.
When it comes to public buildings, public facilities, we're often left with three choices. You can decide that you need to do something. You need to fix or maintain that piece of equipment. You can defer it, which oftentimes the Band-Aids end up getting things placed onto them, and we all know what happens to Band-Aids. They fall off. When you defer maintenance, it doesn't necessarily mean it gets better; it gets worse, and in the end will cost you more money in the long run, or you just decide not to do anything at all. You don't even do the Band-Aids.
Now this is a picture of a building that I was at, that I found was a very interesting case, and some of you may have pictures just like this or you may be sitting in a building that's just like this as well. And if you're looking at that and you're saying, "What is that a picture of?" Take a moment and take a look at it carefully. It's actually a picture of a skylight.
This is where Life-Cycle Cost Analysis, LCC, or cost to own versus cost to buy comes into play. Life-Cycle Cost Analysis is where you think about the life of that product, what are the upfront costs, and then what is it going to be in order to maintain. In this instance, which really was a shame, they had four leaking skylights out of 20 - four of them. So what they decided to do was to board up all of the skylights, rather than fix the four that were leaking. Now I don't know those of you - I'm a former facilities manager. I used to work for the City of Newton in Massachusetts, so I understand what it's like where many of you are sitting right now, but I have never come across a roof or a skylight that doesn't leak. It happens. It's going to happen and everybody knows that, but what they decided to do was to board up the skylights, blocking all their natural daylight.
So in turn what they had to do was to install these T12 light fixtures. This happened nine years ago, and actually still is like this today. If they had just done a Life-Cycle Cost Analysis and figured out what it would've cost to repair the four leaking skylights rather than what it cost to board up 20, and then go back a month later and install these T12 light fixtures, and what it's cost them today for running the T12 light fixtures, they would've seen that it was more effective to just repair the ones that were damaged or leaking.
So preventative maintenance really provides an opportunity for all of you in terms of in communities we have a horrible problem of what I call tripping over dollar bills to save pennies, and meaning that you don't look at that Life-Cycle Cost Analysis, but preventative maintenance is going to keep your equipment running at peak efficiency. It also provides an opportunity that when it's time to replace a motor or a pump, you could look at using a NEMA efficiency motor that oftentimes the local utility providers will give incentives for.
So I don't know how many of you have seen pictures like this driving around. Unfortunately, it's becoming more commonplace to see issues like this, and it makes you think, well, what gets cut, and then those of you that are facilities operators know, its operations and maintenance. Energy used to be the third largest line item in a budget. Now it is generally second only to salary. So if utility costs continue to rise, and you can't manage your utility expenses, what gets cut besides operations and maintenance?
Now MacGyver, this is what we're turning our maintenance shop into, because we are not doing operations and maintenance. We don't think about Live-Cycle Cost Analysis. We're turning our maintenance staff into MacGyver, who needed his ballpoint pen and a paperclip.
Now I joke about this, but as I said, I was a facilities manager working for a city, and I also worked in a commercial application, and I have literally seen people use duct tape, cardboard, plywood and wire to fix a leaking pump and motor that should have been replaced; that would have been more cost effective to replace it the first time when it started leaking, rather than a year and a half later when cost stretched up to about $20,000.00 to replace that pump and motor.
So I'm going to go over some very simple strategies of things that you can do to control your costs and to make your buildings more energy efficient. So there are really some five steps that we've pulled apart, and certainly there's a lot more, but given the time that we have, I wanted to pull out the five that are the most important.
So the first one is to chop your utility bills. Most of you have probably heard the phrase, "You can't manage what you haven't measured." It's a very common to have. The other parts of that, though, that I want you to think about is how to read the bill. I don't know how many of you are people that have actually looked at your home utility bill or know what your energy use is, or even understanding in a complex commercial facility looking at how to read the bill and understanding what a kilowatt is or demand hours or peak hours or off-demand time of day, power factors. There's a lot of terminology that goes into it and it can be a very complex system, but you have to, number one, understand how to read your utility bill.
And the second part to that is who actually sees those bills. A lot of times bills are read by bookkeepers or accountants, and not necessarily by the facilities operators, the people who actually control that facility, who need to know when there's a difference, and oftentimes you find out a month or two months when it's too late. So it's really important that you track utility bills, and not only doing this so you can find out about utility procurement or be able to do budget forecasting, but by tracking your utility bills, something as simple as putting it in an Excel spreadsheet or using Portfolio Manager, you can generally save ten percent of your utility savings strictly by managing your utility bills.
I've seen facilities managers discover that they were paying for meters that they didn't own anymore. They didn't have. The little discrepancies, so you really have to pay close attention to your utility bills.
The next step is getting an energy audit. If you can involve your local utility company, they will come in and do an energy audit, your local utility provider, who will walk through the building, and it really looks at a comprehensive, integrated solution for your building, for energy-efficiency opportunities. It's going to help improve the comfort and productivity for building occupants, not only increasing energy efficiency, but will help to promote environmentally-friendly operations by reducing the building's carbon footprints.
One of the first things you should do when you get this phone off of the Webinar is to contact your local utility provider to find out what services they have available for you. Something as simple as replacing accent lighting or the lighting within your building by doing these walkthroughs have oftentimes a payback of less than one year.
A third step is to develop an energy management plan, which would be your basis for an operations and maintenance plan. Sometimes it's also cold an FOP, which is a Facilities Operating Plan. Always a lot of acronyms in the energy efficiency world, as well as in the facilities world so you might hear them called a couple different terms. But included in this plan should be seasonal temperature settings for HVAC, your boiler operating temperatures, lighting levels and maintenance schedules.
Now new buildings often come with instructions because usually it's either part of the commissioning of the process or you get your operating manuals or also get to see a facilities person, who actually goes through and reads those big maps of manuals that they're given from the contractors, but existing buildings don't come with instructions.
Existing buildings come with a set of keys, and unfortunately, what happens with existing buildings as maintenance _____, where there's a lot of turnover either in custodial or facilities management, staff are handed a set of keys and don't fully know what either systems are in their building or there isn't a lot of history.
So one thing that you can do is to develop a facilities operating plan or an operating guide to their facility. In Vermont, the Vermont Superintendent of Schools Energy Management Program, along with Efficiency Vermont, has developed in draft form their operating plan, which is the foundation for facilities operators to know the systems in their buildings so that they can gain greater energy efficiency measures out of them.
Also available in _____, all of these resources will be listed at the conclusion of this Webinar. It is also available at the Guide to Operating and Maintaining EnergySmart Schools. Now within that guide they actually developed action plan templates based on a whole variety of different segments of your building, such as the building envelope template, which is shown here now, _____, benchmarking, HVAC and lighting. And you can very easily, while this is for schools, and schools are unique environments, you can very easily modify this to other building types. It gives you a schedule of whether you should be taking part in quarterly, biannually, whether you do group relamping of light bulbs, when filters are changed. It gives you a check of weather stripping on doors, everything to meet the comprehensive building management plan. So it is, again, available free on the Web, and the resource will be listed at the end.
The next part that we have is - we really should have no more MacGyvers, and we want to train our building staff. There are a few studies that have been done that show that if you actually send your facilities maintenance staff to training, something like a building operator certification training, which is often funded by local utility providers or programs very similar to that can save an estimate of about $14,000 a year simply by training your building staff.
In the buildings we have now, there are oftentimes complex systems. It's no longer a steamfitter, who used to have a wrench and a tool belt, and used to open and close valves. Now what we have are complex systems that often can be used by a handheld device or a laptop and somebody that's 20 miles away. So it's really important that we're training our building staff on the update of technologies, but also how they can manage the existing systems that are in their buildings.
The next part of behavior is step number five, which would be teamwork, and you have to have an energy champion. So if you on the phone are not the energy champion, you have to find that energy champion or become the energy champion.
As a facilities manager there's only so much that you can do within your building. There's only so much the facilities manager or your custodial team can do. Every person in that building, everyone, every consumer should be expected to be an energy saver. So think about that.
If you are in your own office environment, and you're consuming that energy, you should also be responsible for helping to conserve that. So you have to involve a team. You need to get everybody involved in that team - from a facilities manager to business managers to building occupants. Have them understand the terminology and what the benefits are for saving energy efficiency.
So as I said at the beginning, where utility costs used to be the third largest line item, and has moved up to second. So close to salaries, people need to understand how their involvement can help improve energy efficiency.
So some things to think about are something called phantom loads, and phantom loads, some of you may have already heard about phantom loads, but basically it's when electronics or pieces of equipment are plugged into the wall, even though you think they're off, they're still drawing power. So what we want to do is to try to reduce phantom loads or eliminate them altogether.
Other things to think about, in terms of energy efficiency, would be like a leaking faucet. Now 20 drips a minute at $3.15 a year doesn't sound like a lot of money, but if you multiply that by how many buildings you may have - in my previous facilities in Newton I had 85 buildings. So if you had a leaking faucet in all 85 buildings, it adds up to be a lot of money.
Other things that you could do is looking at something like a VendingMiser, and there's other similar products that are available on the market, which you use with your vending machines, and it basically puts the machine into a sleep mode so that the compressors are not running all day long, but it still keeps the beverages or whatever happens to be inside that machine, at a safe temperature, but it will put it into more of a sleep mode so you're conserving energy, and oftentimes utility program administrators offer an incentive for doing such a thing, and the payback is anywhere from about three to five months for a VendingMiser machine. So if you have vending machines, and you don't have something like this, you should really look at it.
I recently toured a high-performance school and met with energy officials, and it was really a shame to see that they had all their vending machines, but they didn't have any VendingMisers so they could take that extra step and be a little bit more efficient.
So think about phantom loads, and one thing that you could also look to do is installing a Smart Strip. So the Smart Strip, which is on the right-hand side, is something that you can use in your commercial application where certain outlets are programmed to stay on, as use of equipment used to stay on all the time, and then the other plugs will shut down to be able to conserve energy. So whether it's a computer or a monitor, to put it in context of your own home, you could plug in and leave your DVR box plugged in and on, but you might have a lamp or something else that you want to have shut off, an Xbox station or something like that.
Another opportunity is with a Kill a Watt meter, which is shown there, and that is something that if you're unsure of how much energy a particular piece of equipment uses, you can plug in and find out what the energy use of that is.
So those of you working for communities, and you want to help reach out to your taxpayer base, a lot of libraries are now - I know we did this in my own town - we actually bought five of these Kill A Watt meters, and just like you check out a volt _____ now, turns out people are checking out Kindles, you can check out a Kill A Watt meter to find out how efficient your home is. So that's something that you could look at doing as well.
Another thing that you want to look at are policies that you have within your community for purchasing of equipment. Everyone looks at purchasing Energy Star equipment, whether you're buying refrigerators or washers, monitors, etc., but one thing to keep in mind in establishing policies or having as part of your operating plan is donated equipment to communities or to state agencies. A lot of people like to donate their old equipment, refrigerators, to teen centers or daycare centers, and you want to set a policy that you don't want people's old inefficient equipment. It's great that they want to donate something to you, but you want to make sure that it is Energy Star and it's meeting the current guidelines that it's efficient.
Now I always think that we always have fire drills. Every time there's a fire drill for life safety reasons, but every year there should be an energy drill within your building, and with that I mean you should benchmark your building. You should post that information and make it publicly available. So I like that everybody is a consumer, they need to be made aware of the energy use that they are using. When you have your fire drill, you should also be scheduling an energy drill, and making sure that the building occupants know what they're contributing to.
Other pieces of what you can do as part of your team is to join in in behavior modification, and I do have just a couple of examples, and I know that it says, "Please shut down the computer" again. "Please shut down the computer." What's in the middle there happens to be a series of stickers - very, very easy and very simple to do; that you can print these stickers, but to be able to post on - if you don't have controls within your building, you can just print these at stores - light switches - that people are reminded. We're all very, very busy with many things on our minds, and the last thing that you often think about is maybe shutting off lights when you leave a room or shutting down your computer or turning off the faucet. So something very simple and easy to do is to create these stickers, and we actually have the templates here so if you email me after the presentation we're happy to provide that for you as well.
The picture of the gentleman that's standing here is Matt. He's part of the Manchester Essex and Massachusetts Green Team, and while that's a school program, there's also a lot of programs that are coming out within varying communities of getting everybody involved. So not just again the facilities operator, but, really, everybody within that school to take ownership of reducing the energy and taking pride into the environment that they're into. On the other side of what you see is, "What Can I Do," and take a pledge. This comes from the City of Cranston, Rhode Island, their school department. They have a great Website. The link is on the bottom, where they are constantly updating. So much money they've saved their taxpayers, giving them information about what you can do, and then here it is, a particular pledge; that you're going to use it less. You're going to turn it off and turn it down. So I encourage you to check out their Website for some additional resources.
And other things that we're hearing communities are doing is that they're really adding the energy efficiency measures and reduction plans into job descriptions of staff. So it's becoming more common practice, depending on what your job description is or what your role is, they're making you aware of the importance of, if you're part of a community that you are going to help reduce the community's energy use by 20 percent by 2015 or things of that nature.
So I add this for behavior modification and involving a team, and that it's also beyond. These are some great pictures of lighting. So I especially love the picture on the upper right-hand corner on the bottom left, and I just have to always ask why are these here, why are these lights on, and you have to think about that sometimes there are no controls in buildings, and sometimes we are the controls. We the people. We have to turn off the light switches when we see them on in a case like this. So just keep that in mind, and that's why I go back to the stickers that were there; that oftentimes if there are no controls, we have to be the controls within those buildings.
I just wanted to mention a few words about on-site photovoltaic systems or renewable technology because that's generally what everybody loves to see. You hear conflict. People talking about the "sexy" thing. You can't see energy efficiency, but energy efficiency will pay for renewable technology, but before you think about doing any kind of renewable technology, a wind turbine or a PV on the side of your building, you have to make sure your building is as energy efficient as possible.
As an example of best practice, I wanted to share with you a story from _____ of Vermont. _____ of Vermont has done a lot with their buildings, much to the credit of their facilities manager and assistance that they have received from Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Superintendents Association Energy Management Program, but one of the things that they have come from, the facilities director says that the reason he's so successful is he surrounded himself with high-performance people, is that he had to create his team, and that he didn't know everything so he went to the experts and he asked for help.
And that's what you have to do, is you have to go to utility providers, state energy office. You have to look for the resources and get help, and that through this high performance, forming this team and being able to engage with them, he's been able to save 23 percent of his fuel savings. They are saving 17 percent electrical savings by doing electrical improvements and lighting throughout the buildings, which is only a three-year payback, and that was done through Efficiency Vermont, by educating their staff, as I said. They're switching off the lights near the windows so they're putting the staff as the controls; that they have to understand they don't have controls in their buildings in these areas. So the staff knows it's their responsibility to help contribute to that.
The facilities director went through building operator certification so that he knew how to operate his building in a more efficient manner, and one thing that was most important was buy-in. He said buy-in from management was critical to success for his operations and maintenance, and that basically he was told, "Show me the money," in Jerry Maguire terms, but that's what he was told, to "Show me the money." How could they save money? How was this going to impact the bottom line form _____ of Vermont?
So it was very easy for him to do that by working with the partners, as I said before, and he showed them that by implementing these measures he could make his buildings more energy efficient, and that's exactly what he's done. You have to be able to state your case clear and effectively.
I wanted to share with you a couple of resources because I know this is a lot of information that's here, a lot to take in, but a couple of resources that are available free on the Web. We at NEEP developed last year the Northeast Collaborator for High-Performance Schools Operations and Maintenance Guide, and what it is is its strategies for an existing building to become high performance. It involves many low-cost ideas.
Now while this was developed for the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic states, there are a lot of great resources and tools that you can use from this guide no matter where you are across the country. We are also in the process of modifying this for public buildings. That will be available later this fall, but as I said, it's really a good foundation, and we encourage you to check it out online and to check back with us towards the end of the year or later this fall for the public buildings version.
Another opportunity for resources that would be available is something that was released by the EPA, with their Leading by Example Guide that was directed at state agencies, and this establishes and helps to identify best practices and state examples that will highlight the benefits and costs of taking action for energy efficiency.
Now again, if you're working for a local community, city or town, there are still a lot of great resources and examples that you could use from within this document to help build your own framework for your community.
And also released in August of 2010 is the Federal Operations and Maintenance Best Practice Manual, which has a mantra that I love, which is, "O&M First," something that we all want to adopt. The sections include building commissioning, and how it contributes to operations and maintenance, and it also includes technologies and tools that are on the horizon.
So high-performance buildings are a better public investment. As I mentioned previously, simply by tracking your utility bills and monitoring building and operations and maintenance plans you can save on average a hundred thousand dollars. So studies have shown that a two percent upfront initial cost in high-performance building materials or something like a high-efficiency motor will benefit ten times of the life of the product.
So you might have to be an upfront two percent cost, but in the end you're going to get greater savings, and that's all where the Life-Cycle Cost Analysis comes in; that you want to make sure that you understand not only the cost of when you're buying something or implementing something right now, but what is it going to be in the future? What are those savings going to be?
And at this point, as a highlight, the two pictures here, the picture of this beautiful building is actually the building that's in Providence, Rhode Island that was built in 1928 that has recently been renovated to Northeast ______ as a high-performance building, and we don't want to end up with buildings on the right. We have to start taking care of our buildings now. We have to do operations and maintenance so that we can make sure that these buildings, such as the beautiful building on the left, are going to be around for a long time to come.
So as a wrap-up for us, again you're going to maximize energy efficiency. You want to involve your energy-efficiency programs and local utilities from the start, from day one. So as I said, if you haven't, you're not involving your local utilities program administrator right now, then when you're down with this Webinar you should pick up the phone or get on their Websites and give them a call to find out what they have and how they can make your buildings more efficient. You need to state your case and you need to know your audience. So sometimes when you're talking to a business official, they might just strictly be numbers. At other times when you're talking to a mayor or you're talking to an alderman or a selectman in your community or the other state agencies, you have to use pretty graphs or other pictures that might be available.
So know what the trigger points are. Sometimes it's for energy efficiency and savings. Other times it's other environmental impact, but keep in mind life cycle costs.
Always energy efficiency first, and then renewable technology. You want to create policies that have clear and attainable goals for energy reduction and behavior change. Remember, everybody has to be involved for this to be successful. Remember the mantra of "O&M first," and you be the champion and then you find your team.
And my contact information is listed at the bottom. We will be taking questions as well, and I wanted to just highlight that we do have additional resources that are available from everything that we mentioned, both what Ed had mentioned previously and what I have mentioned throughout the presentation. We encourage you to explore the online Solution Center/Resource Center that, as we mentioned before, you can submit technical requests and you can join us for additional Webinars that will be available. There is another one that is happening tomorrow on Stretch/Reach Energy Codes, and this presentation will be available on the Solution Center on the DOE site, including any of the questions that are asked and all of the links that were mentioned, including all the contact lists.
And if you're not sure of who you should be contacting or where any of these different organizations are, you can refer back to the map that Ed showed you at the very beginning to locate your state and who would be your contact person.
So with that, if anybody has any questions, we'll be happy to take some. So the first question that we have, "Will a copy of the slides be made available?" And the answer to that is yes. They will be available. Actually I've got a couple of those questions. They will be available on the Website as well. And somebody wanted it in PowerPoint form. That's not a problem. We'll be happy to share that as well. And that's all. Is there any other question? There are a large number of attendees that are on here so I'm just trying to go through the questions.
Somebody is asking if the Website will be available, and we will post that up. Let me pull that back up. If you go now to the very bottom of the screen right now where it says energy.gov.solutioncenter/webcasts, that's where you can find the most up-to-date Webinars, including the ones that are going to be taking place and the one that I just did. And I think that may be it.
There's a couple other questions about energy audits; that someone is looking for a recommendation, which I can't give a specific recommendation on companies to do them, and I think that's it.
So I will make sure that if there are any questions that I missed on here, we'll make sure to answer those and have them posted onto the Solution Center Webcast. Thank you for joining us.