Building Tools and Technical Assistance

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Various tools, resources, and programs exist to help building owners and operators navigate technical and financial aspects of building decarbonization. Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list - additional resources for consideration may be sent to building.decarbonization@maryland.gov

Tools: 
  • Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER)​: BETTER is a DOE-funded software toolkit that enables building operators to quickly and easily identify the most cost-saving energy efficiency measures in buildings and portfolios (without site visits and complex modeling) using readily available building and energy data. Users can identify immediate, cost-saving energy efficiency improvements and to focus further audits and studies.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): DSIRE is a comprehensive database of incentives, programs, and policies that support energy efficiency and renewables across the country. Users can input their state and/or zip code to generate results.  
  • Department of Energy (DOE) Financing Navigator: DOE’s Financing Navigator helps non-residential building owners explore an array of financing choices and identify relevant financing options for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 
  • ENERGY STAR Tax Credit and Rebate Finder Tool​: This tool helps homeowners find financial incentives for efficient appliances, such as heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, insulation, windows, and electric upgrades. 
  • ENERGY STAR Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator: The Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator helps building owners estimate how much new equipment can be financed using anticipated savings, as well as help answer questions such as whether an owner should finance now or wait for a lower interest rate.
  • RMI Clean Buildings Incentive Stacking Guides: RMI curates a repository of resources on how to “stack” or combine federal programs and incentives for building electrification and decarbonization.
  • Green Lease Leaders: Green leases are leases that align sustainability and financial incentives between the landlord and tenant. This alignment enables decarbonization action at the building level, thereby advancing efficient and carbon neutral buildings. The Green Lease Leaders program was launched in 2014 by Institute for Market Transformation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance. The program sets the standard for what constitutes a green lease, provides guidance in leasing practices to advance mutually beneficial landlord-tenant relationships that lead to higher-performing buildings, and recognizes organizations for their green leasing work. Participants benefit from established guidelines and free support while developing their leases, as well as peer leadership recognition and substantial energy savings when leases have been implemented.

Technical Assistance: 
  • Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Campaign: This campaign aims to empower public sector building owners, including state and local governments, universities and colleges, schools, and hospitals, to leverage ESPCs, a financing mechanism that allows building owners to pay for facility upgrades with tomorrow’s energy savings. Through 2028, DOE will offer forums for technical assistance and peer knowledge sharing. 
  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Training Center: ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is the most widely used tool for measuring and tracking commercial building performance data, including energy and water use as well as emissions. ENERGY STAR hosts frequent online trainings and webinars to help building owners understand how to best leverage this tool. 
  • MD Local Government BEPS Cohort: From 2024-2025, ClearlyEnergy and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) are helping prepare Maryland’s county and municipal governments for building energy performance standard compliance. The cohort will offer educational trainings, technical assistance, and opportunities for peer knowledge sharing. Interested governments may sign up here.  
  • Montgomery County Green Bank Technical Assistance Program: Through its Technical Assistance Program, the Montgomery County Green Bank supports feasibility study costs for commercial building owners. Studies may include ASHRAE Level I, Level II, Level III/ Investment Grade audits and/or targeted analyses into benchmarking, energy efficiency, renewable energy (e.g., solar PV), electrification, EV charging infrastructure, and resiliency measures. Please note that this is available for buildings located within Montgomery County ONLY.  
  • DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Education Hub: DOE curates this landing page for all training and educational materials related to its Zero Energy Ready Home program. 
  • Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) Technical Assistance: GHHI provides a variety of technical assistance services to clients, such as community-based organizations; state, county, and city governments; and healthcare providers and payers. Offerings include programmatic capacity building; innovative financing; coordinated delivery of housing, health, and energy services; and healthy housing policy.

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