Better Buildings Accelerators: Newsroom

May 16, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the energy-efficiency progress made by the 345 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge. These efforts have led to a combined 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings. These results are summarized in the 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report released today that highlights accomplishments across the broader Better Buildings Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by focusing on overcoming market barriers and sharing partner-created solutions.

May 15, 2017

This year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) welcomed 240 organizations as partners into the Better Buildings Alliance, Better Plants, Better Communities Alliance and Better Buildings Accelerators—collaborative efforts designed to help public sector organizations and private sector companies to save money and improve energy efficiency. Today, DOE is releasing new tools and resources developed in collaboration with Accelerator partners and announcing important results from its technology campaigns. Part of the Better Buildings Initiative, these efforts target specific barriers to energy efficiency and encourage the discovery and demonstration of innovative technologies and best practices for saving energy.

Jan 12, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is introducing a new, web-based financing navigator to help private and public sector organizations discover financing solutions for energy efficiency projects that meet their unique needs. Limited financing options are often cited as a major barrier to investing in energy efficient systems. Through the Better Buildings Financing Navigator, building owners, facility and energy managers, and other decision-makers can connect with financiers, including banks and financial institutions, to pursue energy-saving measures.

Dec 06, 2016

Today the Energy Department launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Schools Accelerator with new partners including six school districts, two states and several national organizations who will be working collaboratively to develop zero energy design that is cost-competitive to conventional construction in the education sector and in local communities across the nation.  A Zero Energy Building is an energy-efficient building, where on a source energy basis, the actual delivered energy is less than or equal to the onsite renewable exported energy.

In conjunction with the launch, Energy Department officials joined other key stakeholders today to tour Discovery Elementary School, a Zero Energy school located near the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia, which officially opened its doors in September 2015. Discovery’s engineering team expects to offset its energy usage with renewable energy and to potentially save about $75,000 within its first year of operation. Discovery Elementary is one of 40 emerging Zero Energy ready schools in the U.S., and was built with advanced next generation energy efficiency and renewable power features, including solar rooftop and geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Nov 30, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched season two of “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy. Both military operations swap energy teams to improve the energy efficiency of each one’s campus.

The web series covers a two-day swap at each campus. The teams learn from each other that they can apply simple behavioral changes to help students and faculty be more mindful about lighting usage and plug loads in classrooms when not in use.

Nov 16, 2016

Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National League of Cities launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Districts Accelerator to move the building market toward adopting sustainable practices to help districts achieve zero energy use in buildings. Zero Energy Districts are comprised of multi-purpose energy-efficient buildings, where the annual energy delivered to buildings is less than or equal to on-site renewable exported energy.

Oct 04, 2016

As part of Smart Cities Week, the White House recently announced a new Energy Department-led Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to encourage the use of cost-effective, energy-saving building analytics platforms – also known as energy management information systems technologies (EMIS) – in commercial buildings nationwide, and refine best practices. Energy management information system (EMIS) technologies are a broad group of smart energy management tools that help monitor, analyze and control building energy use and system performance. EMIS can achieve 10-20 percent energy savings in a single commercial building. If these best practices were adopted by all commercial buildings in the nation, more than $4 billion in cost savings could be achieved.

The campaign is also meant to help building operators use analytics for overall long-term energy management and better building performance. The initial goal is to engage commercial building owners and operators to use smart energy analytics in 80 million square feet of floor space. Already the 18 partners represent a total of 1,800 buildings or 50 million square feet. 

Sep 27, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator to advance energy efficiency in laboratory buildings owned and operated by universities, corporations, national laboratories, hospitals, and federal agencies. Through the new Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator, partners will pursue ambitious energy-saving targets and strategies that will address key barriers to improving energy efficiency.

A typical laboratory is nearly four times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a given campus' energy footprint. It's estimated that if all laboratory buildings improved their energy efficiency by 20%, annual energy and cost savings could reach about 40 trillion British Thermal Units or $1 billion.

Jul 19, 2016

The White House announced new partners joining DOE’s Better Buildings Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator.  The Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator aims to lower energy bills in low income communities through expanded installation of energy efficiency and distributed renewables. Low income households spend an average of 15 to 20 percent of their income on energy bills, whereas energy burdens above 6 percent are typically considered unaffordable. This Accelerator encourages the development of partnerships and replicable models and will work to identify funding options that a state-level agency, local government, or utility program could use to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy access to communities that need them most. Today, 13 new partners are announcing their participation, building on the 24 founding partners.

May 26, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative in partnership with CoStar Group, Inc., a provider of data and intelligence solutions to commercial real estate professionals, will expand the visibility of energy-efficient buildings in U.S. property markets and promote the benefits of energy efficiency for building owners and occupants. CoStar Group will display energy-related information that is already being made publicly accessible by state and local governments that have adopted building energy transparency laws. It plans to begin displaying energy-related information for buildings in Chicago and Washington, D.C., this summer, followed by buildings in other applicable states and localities beginning this fall.

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May 11, 2016

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro released Better Buildings Challenge partner results, announced three new focus areas in local communities, and highlighted overall signs of growth in the initiative’s reach and influence. 

Since 2011, both the number of Better Buildings Challenge partners and energy efficiency commitments have tripled, resulting in energy cost savings that now exceed the $1.3 billion mark and the avoidance of 10 million tons of harmful carbon emissions.  There are now 310 Better Buildings Challenge partners who are set to achieve goals of at least 20 percent energy reduction within 10 years. Together they represent 34,000 buildings and facilities, 4.2 billion square feet, and $5.5 billion dollars in energy efficiency investment. Latest reporting shows partners are on track, decreasing energy use on average by over two percent each year.

Sample coverage

Mar 30, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy  announced the publication of a high-impact, informational resources toolkit through its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator developed in partnership with 18 cities and utilities across the nation. The Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit is a compilation of case studies, guidance and real-world best-practices adopted by cities and utilities to help building owners measure and track energy use, and benchmark the energy performance of their buildings.

Mar 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program and Home Energy Information Accelerators work with partners across the nation and are making important progress in lowering the costs of energy upgrade programs, while improving overall program effectiveness and enhancing access to information on home energy performance for consumers. These efforts help homeowners save money, while creating local jobs and improving the environment.

Feb 24, 2016

The Energy Department recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner, West Palm Beach for their leadership in improving energy efficiency across 1.4 million square feet of building space by 20 percent within 10 years. The city of West Palm Beach has met their Better Buildings Challenge goal of 20 percent energy reduction and Mayor Jeri Muoio is announcing a new 15 percent energy reduction goal for 2025. 

The city of West Palm Beach is planning on committing a number of new buildings to receive a variety of energy efficiency upgrades, adding on approximately 130,000 square feet of building space to the Better Buildings Challenge.

Jan 29, 2016

Making businesses and homes more energy efficient is a win for jobs and economic growth, operating costs and bottom lines, and the President’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. That is why, today, as part of the President’s Better Buildings Program, the Administration is announcing:

  • 18 utilities, serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers, will provide access to energy data building owners by 2017, the first step to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings;
  • 30 cities and states and 21 organizations from across the country are committing to take new actions to make it easier to identify ways to cut energy waste by making energy data available to building owners,
  • 24 cities, states, and businesses are committing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings 20 percent by 2020; and
  • Seven cities and states from across the country are committing to install more efficient outdoor lighting. 

The actions announced today build on commitments made by 285 organizations representing nearly 4 billion square feet since the Administration launched the President’s Better Buildings program in 2011.  The program’s mission is to partner with the Energy Department to improve energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020, and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency deployment over the next decade. These new commitments from cities, school districts, and businesses like Nike and Wendy’s will help cut waste in our buildings, saving energy and money and reducing pollution.

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May 28, 2015

To further advance energy efficiency in buildings across the country, the Department of Energy is moving into the residential sector by launching two new Better Buildings Accelerators that will help American families improve the efficiency of their homes. The two new accelerators announced today are aimed at making home energy information more accessible to potential homebuyers and improving and expanding home upgrade programs that help Americans save money on their energy bills. With new accelerators announced today, the Department is working to build on the success of the Better Buildings Challenge, cutting energy waste and moving the United States closer to a clean energy future.

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Dec 03, 2013

The U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development today expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to multifamily housing and launched the Better Buildings Accelerators to support state- and local government-led efforts to cut energy waste and eliminate market and technical barriers to greater building efficiency. Fifty multifamily housing leaders from across the United States have committed through the Better Buildings Challenge to cut their energy use by 20 percent in ten years. The Department of Energy also introduced three new Better Buildings Accelerators to bring together state and local governments, utilities, and manufacturers to develop cost-effective, creative solutions for building energy efficiency.