November 30, 2016


The Department Of Energy's Efficiency-Based Reality Show Is Great Television (BEN SCHILLER 11.30.16, Co.Exist)

I'm beginning to think the Department of Energy's reality show--SWAP--should be on cable. Watching teams compete to find energy-efficiency improvements in each other's buildings is good entertainment. The production quality on the latest episodes of Better Buildings Challenge SWAP is high end. And the tension between the teams in the second season--the Air Force Academy vs. the Naval Academy--is appropriately collegial, yet pleasantly spiky. [...]

SWAP--which is in its second season; the first pitted Whole Foods against Hilton--proves that even organizations that are "doing a lot" can do more, notes Maria Vargas, head of the DOE's Better Buildings program, which commissioned the show. "An openness to continual improvement, and really letting the other team see behind the scenes, is core to the 'SWAP,'" she says.

The Air Academy was impressed with the Naval Academy's food waste bio-digester which produces enough methane to significantly offset heating bills at the campus. The Naval Academy was inspired by the Air Academy's discrete rooftop solar panels, which cover a third to a half of its electricity demand on a sunny day. "Lots of times, people don't want solar panels on roofs because it changes how the building looks. But these panels, flush with the roof, were something the Naval Academy thought was a huge opportunity for them," Vargas says.

Posted by at November 30, 2016 4:31 PM