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June 26, 2012: Energy and Commerce Departments Announce New Centers for Building Operations Excellence

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Commerce announced selections for three Centers for Building Operations Excellence that will receive a total of $1.3 million to create and deploy programs aimed at training building operators as part of the Better Buildings Initiative. The Better Buildings Initiative is designed to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020, with the potential to reduce the energy bills of American business by approximately $40 billion per year.

“Improving energy efficiency in business and manufacturing is critical for helping American businesses keep costs down and stay competitive in the global economy,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “The first step is ensuring we have well-trained buildings and facilities operators that know how to boost building performance and keep commercial facilities from wasting energy.”

The three Centers for Building Operations Excellence will work with universities, local community and technical colleges, trade associations, and the Energy Department’s national laboratories to build training programs that provide commercial building professionals with the skills they need to optimize building efficiency while reducing energy waste and saving money. The Department of Energy and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technologies’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) are jointly funding the centers.

The Centers for Building Operations Excellence, chosen through a competitive grants process, utilize multi-organization partnerships and support from local and state governments. The selected centers are:

The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence in California, partnering with Laney College and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39.

Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center in Pennsylvania, partnering with Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania College of Technology, and Drexel University.

New York State Department of Economic Development in New York, partnering with City University of New York and Rochester Institute of Technology.

The funding provided to the three centers will help in developing curricula and pilot training programs for building operators, managers, and energy service providers, focusing on building re-tuning, energy management, and building operations in commercial, industrial, and educational buildings. The training will outline steps building operators can take to reduce energy consumption, save money, and drive continuous improvement in a broad range of commercial buildings.

For more information about the Better Buildings Initiative, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/betterbuildings/.

Publication date: 6/25/2012

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