Carolyn Szum is an Energy and Environmental Policy Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with 18 years of experience leading projects for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), The World Bank Group, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a range of private sector clients to mobilize investment in building energy efficiency. She currently serves as Principal Investigator for the U.S. DOE Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) project and as Co-manager of the U.S. DOE Net Zero World Investment Team.
Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, Ms. Szum was a Lead Managing Consultant at ICF International (ICF). She has led projects in the United States, Argentina, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Ukraine and served on the Hong Kong Business Environment Council and as Co-Chair of the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program Energy Efficient Building Design Working Group. She has an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She also holds a B.A. in International Studies and Business, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Colby College. She has studied Chinese at Middlebury College and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan as a Rotary Scholar and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
2021 EarthX E-Capital Summit Climate Tech Prize Semi-Finalist - April 30th 2021
2020 R&D 100 Award: BETTER Tool - October 05th 2020
Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER)
The buildings sector is the largest source of primary energy consumption (40%) and ranks second after the industrial sector as a global source of direct and indirect carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion. According to the World Economic Forum, nearly one-half of all energy consumed by buildings could be avoided with new energy-efficient systems and equipment.
The Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) allows municipalities, building and portfolio owners and managers, and energy service providers to quickly and easily identify the most effective cost-saving and energy-efficiency measures in their buildings. With an open-source, data-driven analytical engine, BETTER uses readily available building and monthly energy data to quantify energy, cost, and greenhouse gas reduction potential, and to recommend efficiency interventions at the building and portfolio levels to capture that potential.
It is estimated that BETTER will help reduce about 165.8 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) globally by 2030. This is equivalent to the CO2 sequestered by growing 2.7 billion tree seedlings for 10 years.
The development team includes Berkeley Lab scientists Nan Zhou, Carolyn Szum, Han Li, Chao Ding, Xu Liu, and William Huang, along with collaborators from Johnson Controls and ICF.
2020 Tech Transfer Award: BETTER Team - September 29th 2020
2020 Director’s Awards for Exceptional Achievement, Tech Transfer
In recognition of the exemplary efforts of Carolyn Szum, Chao Ding, Nan Zhou, Xu Liu, Han Li to build important relationships with industry to advance the science of data-driven, remote building energy analysis to improve building energy efficiency at speed and scale worldwide.
2019 Keeling Curve Prize for Climate Finance Finalist - September 29th 2019
Carolyn Szum's work on building energy efficiency financial product research and development with Ma'anshan Rural Commercial Bank (MRCB) under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) was recognized with a 2019 Keeling Curve Prize Honorable Mention for innovation in financing tools and techniques.
Spot: Carolyn Szum - May 03rd 2019
Carolyn Szum took initiative to integrate Berkeley Lab's China Research Program onto a winning proposal to the United Kingdom Embassy Prosperity Fund.