Small and Medium Building Efficiency Toolkit and Community Demonstration Program

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The Commercial Building Energy Saver (CBES), a web-based software for use by small business owners and operators, was developed and can be found at CBES has been demonstrated with California cities and energy service providers. The tool has been used to evaluate technologies and scenarios to retrofit groups of buildings for the City of Berkeley and others to identify energy savings target, with or without incentive and rebate programs. The tool was highlighted at the 2020 Building Decarbonization Forum sponsored by the CEC.

The Issue

Currently, small business owners and energy professionals don't have easy and low-cost access to tools that can be used to identify cost effective energy retrofits. The small business sector is vast and diverse, representing nearly half of the commercial building stock, so many energy efficiency opportunities exist. California has targeted efficiency programs to this sector but has not been able to move these programs forward because small businesses lack the financial, staff, and technological resources of large organizations. Small businesses and small and medium buildings (SMB) now face the challenges of navigating time-of-use pricing.

Project Innovation

This project developed a retrofit energy toolkit for SMB and demonstrated the Toolkit's capabilities on three to four building test sites. The project obtained input from stakeholders on retrofit packages, compiled utility smart-meter data and developed a load shape analysis module. The project also looked at the indoor environmental quality effects on retrofitted small office and retail buildings, and developed a comprehensive web-based retrofit tool for business owners and energy professionals.

Project Benefits

The implementation and use of the SMB Toolkit to determine cost effective retrofits for small and medium office and retail buildings is expected to increase the percent of energy retrofits implemented in these target sectors. The tool can be used by engineers, energy consultants, facility, property managers and building and business owners to determine and rank energy retrofit opportunities. Providing the financial and energy savings data to the key decision makers has the potential to increase the likelihood of implementing retrofit energy upgrades by building owners/operators.

Lower Costs


This project has the potential to reduce energy use in buildings. The project team developed an energy retrofit analysis toolkit for small-to-medium size businesses that analyzes the energy performance of a building and identifies and evaluates retrofit measures to meet energy savings, energy cost savings, payback, and other criteria. Through use of this tool customers can lower energy costs. Additionally through use of an airflow measurement device, building operators can ensure they are not over ventilating.

Greater Reliability


The retrofit software makes it easier for building owners and operators to make informed upgrade decisions, which may lead to more energy efficiency upgrades. By increasing the penetration of energy efficiency upgrades there is a reduced demand on the utility grid, in-turn providing greater reliability to energy consumers.

Increase Safety


Through the development of technologies to measure outdoor airflow rate, this project provided means for building operators to avoid under-ventilating spaces and subjecting tenants to poor air quality and to avoid sick building syndrome.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Mary Ann Piette

Staff Scientist



Bay Area Climate Collaborative


Match Partners


City of Fremont


City of San Francisco


City of San Jose


City of Santa Clara


Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, City of Berkeley


C3 Energy


Contact the Team