For all projects, estimated savings are to be based on standard engineering and design practices and calculations. Savings must be verified by the applicant, per the applicant’s chosen Professional Engineer or other qualified professional. Applications for QECB funding support will be considered based on costs related to equipment and labor necessary to achieve the estimated consumption reduction. An individual project can aggregate work in two or more categories to exceed the $1 million QECB funding threshold, as long as the project meets the reduction thresholds for each category (e.g. $600,000 from Energy Conservation and Generation, and $400,000 from Water Conservation).
Applicant projects will be assessed based on their ability to meet one or more of the categories of energy and environmental benefit:
Energy Conservation and Generation
Energy conservation projects must have a total project cost of $1 million or more. Projects must result in a total facility energy consumption reduction of 10 percent or more. Energy savings across multiple fuel sources (e.g. electricity and natural gas) may be aggregated based on a common unit such as British Thermal Units (BTUs) to achieve the 10 percent minimum energy savings. Energy conservation measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Improvements to mechanical systems in buildings and facilities that install new energy-efficient equipment, either replacing old equipment (e.g. condensing boiler to replace a conventional boiler) or installing new equipment (e.g. heat recovery).
- Improvements to building envelopes (i.e. walls, ceiling, etc.) that reduce heat loss and/or heat gain through conservation measures such as installing better insulation, replacing inefficient windows and installing reflective roofing.
- Installation of more efficient lighting.
- Installation or expansion of building control systems.
- Renewable energy generation projects: Photovoltaic and wind projects of 5 kW or larger, and solar hot water projects of 250,000 BTU/day or higher.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
This includes building and sustainable development practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent and 250 metric tons or more of Carbon Dioxide equivalent per year. Projects can include building and transportation projects and equipment that reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to the existing baseline energy use and related emissions, specific to the baseline fuel type. Cost requests for QECB funding support will consider incremental costs related to efficient equipment and labor necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to standard equipment, and must be over $1 million.
This includes green building projects that are pursuing a LEED Gold or Platinum Certification, Living Building certification, Built Green 4-Star or higher, or Passive House standards. Other equivalent third party sustainable design standards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Priority will be given to retrofits of existing buildings. Cost requests for QECB funding support will consider the incremental life cycle cost above a current local building code design necessary to meet the designated standard, and must be over $1 million.
Water conservation projects shall have a total project cost of $1,000,000 or more. Projects shall result in a total facility water consumption reduction of 10% or more. Water conservation measures can include the installation of efficient plumbing fixtures, high efficiency irrigation and irrigation control systems, and water reuse systems that reduce the volume of water entering and being consumed in a facility. Water use reductions that result from the use of grey water and water filtration & recirculation systems will be considered toward the 10% reduction volume if they reduce the volume of water entering a facility, as local laws and codes allow. Reclaimed water that has been treated in a wastewater treatment facility will be considered as offsetting the water volume entering a facility, and count toward the 10% reduction goal. Applications for QECB financing will be considered based on costs related to efficient equipment and labor necessary to achieve the estimated consumption reduction.
District energy projects must have a total project cost of $1 million or more. District energy projects must provide environmental benefits by capturing energy efficiencies, reclaiming waste heat for beneficial use and reducing energy use through shared heating and/or cooling. Examples can include: Efficient distribution of energy provided by central heating and/or cooling plants, utilizing heating and/or cooling from sources outside of the facility (e.g. tapping into the relatively stable temperatures of wastewater in pipelines) or sharing excess heating and/or cooling among nearby facilities. Criteria will include efficiency of technology with regard to energy and water use, innovative use of emerging technologies, and collaboration with public agencies in establishing new norms for green building and innovative energy use. District energy projects on a facility, neighborhood or community scale will be considered. For projects within a facility, applications for QECB funding support will be considered based on equipment and labor costs within the facility related to district energy infrastructure and/or connection to a district energy system.