Community Collaborative Launches the North Alabama Building Performance Challenge to Save Energy, Money, Create Jobs.

Huntsville, Ala. – Energy Alabama, Energy Huntsville, and Avion Solutions, Inc. announce the formation of the North Alabama Buildings Performance Challenge (NABPC) to reduce energy consumption in participating commercial buildings across Huntsville. The NABPC will use a process of energy benchmarking, auditing, and substantive energy-efficiency upgrades of university, hospital, and commercial buildings as a means of freeing up business capital for more productive uses, stimulating growth for communities, fostering new business opportunities, and creating a more sustainable footprint. Initially, over 100 buildings will be participating in the challenge, with broader participation expected over the next few years.


“This initiative will provide the local community the ability to realize the benefits of energy efficiency through established energy benchmarks and focused energy improvements with real ROIs. Avion has already realized a 50% improvement with an ROI in the first year!”
Randy Buckner, Director of Research and Development for Avion Solutions, Inc.

The NABPC aims to support the Department of Energy’s goal of helping businesses save nearly $40 billion annually in energy costs, enabling them to grow, invest in new technology, and create American jobs. Financial savings and improved building efficiency are just a few of the benefits to property owners and building operators involved in the effort.

The NAPBC will unite the public sector with the business and nonprofit communities to carry out substantive building upgrades toward the goal of improving participating buildings’ energy performance a minimum of 20 percent by 2020. The effort is already underway with a voluntary benchmarking initiative for Huntsville’s commercial buildings.

About the Energy Alabama

Energy Alabama is accelerating the transition to sustainable, clean energy throughout Alabama. We do this by widely promoting sustainable energy as a feasible, state-wide goal, by executing high-impact clean energy projects across the State, and by providing people with information and opportunities to help make clean energy choices. We work with policy makers, public agencies, local governments, educational institutions, utilities, business and civic leaders and individuals to transform Alabama’s energy marketplace and beyond. ALCSE is committed to powering Huntsville with 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035.

About the Energy Huntsville Initiative

Energy Huntsville is a nonprofit collaboration of more than 100 businesses, federal agencies, universities, and other organizations focused on facilitating the innovation, education, and coordination needed to drive our community’s energy economy.  Energy Huntsville contributes to the diversification of the region’s research and test portfolio, workforce, and economy by linking the engineering, modeling and simulation, testing, and technology strengths of the North Alabama region with key customer requirements and national policy directives for advanced energy systems and applications.

About Avion Solutions, Inc.

Avion is a small business located in Huntsville, Alabama and provides engineering and logistics services to key customers in the federal sector.  Avion is a Sponsoring member of the Energy Huntsville Initiative and has been selected to develop the plan to add the Huntsville community into the DOE Better Buildings Challenge.  Avion is committed to energy efficiency and as an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager participant, has demonstrated a 50% increase in their ENERGY STAR score in the first two years of their energy focused activity.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Daniel Tait by phone at (256) 303-7773 or by email at

Redstone Arsenal Goes Solar

The recent announcement that Redstone Arsenal will house the largest solar installation in the state is great news for Huntsville and Alabama, but also a reminder of how much work remains to be done. If solar installations are a force multiplier for the military, they are also a force multiplier for communities throughout our state. If our local communities adopted the same commitment demonstrated by the US Army we could open up a significant wealth creation opportunity and in doing so build stronger and more resilient communities.

Consider this quote from Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, “We look at renewable energy as a means to secure energy for our installations. We are not doing these projects for politically motivated reasons or because of the mandate (energy goal of 25 percent production of energy from renewable sources by 2025). We are doing them for mission effectiveness.”

Redstone Arsenal goes solar!

He clearly states that renewable energy is simply the strongest way to secure clean, reliable and affordable energy in order to accomplish the Army’s mission. Losing power for a week is not an option when lives are on the line. Not to mention that this monumental effort is being accomplished with private money. No additional burden to taxpayers and the Army gets predictable and affordable prices. What could be better?

Spoiler alert! What would be better is a thoughtful but determined approach by towns and cities across Alabama to begin their switch to clean energy as well.

Just the fact that there were no prime contractors from the great state of Alabama bidding on this opportunity demonstrates how far behind we are.

But we, too, can do this. The magnitude of Redstone’s announcement may fade but the challenge will remain: how we respond as a community and as a state to this wholly feasible opportunity to generate our own clean, reliable and affordable energy. Will our communities also start to build resiliency? Will we see wisdom in the Army’s electricity choices? It won’t happen overnight but let us begin now.