Better Buildings Accelerators: Newsroom
|May 18, 2022||
New Report Recognizes 12 Organizations for Achieving Energy and Water Goals; Highlights New Partners in Better Climate Challenge
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $15.3 billion in energy savings through the Better Buildings Initiative, a public-private partnership with more than 900 businesses, state and local governments, utilities, housing authorities, and other organizations across the United States pursuing ambitious energy, waste, water, and/or greenhouse gas reduction goals and sharing their solutions. These savings represent 155 million metric tons of carbon emissions, or roughly the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 20 million homes in one year. Decarbonizing America’s building sector is a key part of President Biden’s plan to reach a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.
“Leading companies, state and local governments, and other organizations are working with DOE’s Better Buildings program and have committed to using less energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and sharing the solutions that work,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This year’s progress report underscores the incredible impact of those commitments in decarbonizing the sectors responsible for over 35% of America’s emissions. Our partners are leading the way to a prosperous clean-energy economy and a healthier planet.”
Since 2011, the Better Buildings Initiative has partnered with leaders in the public and private sectors to improve the energy efficiency of American homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants. Better Buildings partners commit to expanding their investments in energy-saving technologies, sharing best practices, and measuring their progress toward pre-determined goals.
The 2022 Better Buildings Progress Report, released today during the program’s annual Summit, summarizes the achievements of Better Buildings partners, which include 36 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 10 of the top 25 U.S. employers, and more than 100 state and local governments. Together these companies represent 14% of the American manufacturing energy consumption footprint and 13% of total commercial building space.
|May 17, 2021||
According to a new report released today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Better Buildings Initiative, in collaboration with nearly 1,000 businesses, government, and other partners, saved $13.5 billion in energy costs and more than 130 million metric tons of carbon emissions in the past year—equivalent to the greenhouse gases emitted by 28.2 million vehicles in a single year. These building efficiency improvements are key to reaching President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Through Better Buildings, leading organizations across the U.S. are demonstrating their commitment to use energy more efficiently,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “In partnership with DOE, they are sharing the solutions needed to tackle our climate crisis, create jobs, and build healthy, safe, and thriving communities.”
Since 2011, the Better Buildings Initiative has partnered with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation’s homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants more energy efficient by accelerating investment upgrades and products and sharing best practices.
The 2021 Better Buildings Progress Report released today outlines the progress and collaboration of Better Buildings partners, which represent more than 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13% of total commercial building space, as well as 17 federal agencies, eight national laboratories, and more than 80 states and local governments. The report also highlights the 12 organizations that achieved their Better Buildings Challenge energy, water, or financing goals in the past year.
|Mar 16, 2021||
On March 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Iron Mountain Data Centers for its commitment to energy efficiency through DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge. Since joining the program in 2016, Iron Mountain met its first energy-savings goal of 20% and has now set a new goal of improving data center power usage efficiency (PUE) by 30% over a five-year period across three data centers—or nearly 600,000 square feet of built space.
Iron Mountain’s data centers operate on 100% renewable energy, and the organization achieved the first simultaneous, enterprise-wide ISO 50001 Energy Management and ISO 14001 Environmental Management certifications in the industry. Iron Mountain has also joined the Better Buildings Waste Reduction Pilot as the company works to increase its landfill diversion and begin implementing net-zero waste strategies.
As a Better Buildings partner, Iron Mountain offered to share its best practices through a virtual tour of the cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies at its data centers.
|Jun 09, 2020||
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $11 billion in energy-cost savings by more than 950 public and private sector organizations in DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. To date, partners have saved nearly 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units of energy, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 27 million homes in America over one year. The 2020 Better Buildings Progress Report, released at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Virtual Leadership Symposium, details partners’ progress in advancing energy productivity and highlights the 20 organizations that achieved their energy efficiency goals in the past year. DOE also recognized partners that met previous challenge goals and have set new goals to achieve even greater energy efficiency.
DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy also announced four new Better Buildings efforts: the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator, the Better Buildings Sustainable Corrections Infrastructure Accelerator, the Integrated Lighting Campaign, and the Building Envelope Campaign. These efforts are aimed at increasing American energy productivity; catalyzing investments in renewable energy and energy storage in public facilities; integrating advanced lighting controls in buildings; and helping building owners and managers develop more energy-efficient walls, windows, roofs, and foundations.
|Jul 10, 2019||
On July 10, Energy Secretary Rick Perry kicked off the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit by recognizing more than 20 Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge partners and allies who achieved their energy, water, or financial goals for 2019 and five who have recently set new Challenge goals after meeting their initial goals. These goal achievers are part of the hundreds of organizations that work with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the Better Buildings Initiative and are featured in the annual Better Buildings Progress Report. The Secretary also announced the launch of the Better Buildings, Better Plants Waste Reduction Pilot.
Last year, Better Buildings Initiative partners and allies saved 1.38 quadrillion British thermal units and $8.4 billion in total energy costs. These organizations are leading the U.S. in energy efficiency by adopting emerging technologies, advancing the American workforce, and sharing their innovative approaches to energy and water efficiency.
|May 16, 2019||
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the progress made by the more than 900 public- and private-sector organizations leading the U.S. in energy efficiency through their participation in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Better Buildings Initiative. Together, Better Buildings partners have saved 1.38 quadrillion British thermal units, equivalent to $8.4 billion in energy and cost savings. These market leaders are adopting emerging technologies, advancing the American workforce, and sharing their innovative approaches to energy and water efficiency. The 2019 Better Buildings Progress Report released today highlights this progress and specific accomplishments in the commercial, industrial, residential, and public sectors to improve energy productivity.
|Mar 26, 2019||
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for the energy productivity advances made in its schools. LAUSD set goals of reducing energy and water use by 20% over the next 10 years across its 70 million square feet of building space. LAUSD is the second-largest district in the nation and serves over 660,000 students with a portfolio of 1,200 schools and associated centers.
DOE visited LAUSD’s Better Buildings Challenge Showcase Project Santee Education Complex to tour the campus’ energy upgrades. The school opened in July 2005 as the first new 4-year high school for the Los Angeles Unified School District in more than 35 years. The 338,000-square-foot educational complex serves over 1,900 students and 145 staff, and operates as one of the highest energy-consuming facilities compared to the district’s average.
To help reach LAUSD’s 20% energy consumption reduction goal by 2024, Santee made upgrades including interior and exterior lighting, an energy management system, efficient domestic water heater and boiler, as well as the installation of occupancy sensors, and retro-commissioning the set points. Santee is on schedule to achieve 30% annual energy savings based on seven months partial post-completion data. As a result of these upgrades, the school expects to achieve a 23%, equal to $195,000, annual cost savings.
Integrating high performance upgrades into the Santee Education Complex, such as lighting upgrades and thermal comfort improvement, also make the school a better place for learning and interaction among students, teachers, and campus staff. The district anticipates positive effects on the health and quality of the learning environment, which is expected to lead to decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.
LAUSD joined DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2016. The district plans to meet its Challenge goals by leveraging some of its current programs, including: Proposition 39 (Clean Energy Jobs Act), lighting replacement and retrofit program, and incorporating new strategies such as demand response which includes battery storage and energy management systems (EMS). LAUSD also serves as an active participant in DOE’s Zero Energy Schools Accelerator.
More than 900 organizations now partner with DOE in Better Buildings and have saved more than $3 billion in energy costs to date. Through Better Buildings, DOE partners with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation’s homes, commercial buildings, and industrial plants more energy efficient by accelerating investment and sharing of successful best practices. Greater efficiency saves billions of dollars on energy bills, reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and creates jobs.
Better Buildings is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy designed to improve the lives of the American people by driving leadership in energy innovation. The Better Buildings Challenge is a network of leading businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities, and school districts that commit to improving the energy efficiency of their portfolio of buildings by at least 20% over 10 years and share their strategies and results
Discover more than 1,500 proven solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
|Aug 20, 2018||
Energy Department Brings Energy Training and Peer Event to Cleveland to Expand Progress in Resilient Energy and Water Management in Federal Facilities
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hosting the Energy Exchange and Better Buildings Summit, the largest DOE training, trade show, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing event of the year, in Cleveland, Ohio, from August 21–23, 2018. Co-sponsored by DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program and Better Buildings Initiative, the event is an annual, collaborative forum between the federal government, industry, and state and local stakeholders within the building, energy, water, and transportation communities. Thought leaders will convene to work toward accelerating the adoption of energy and water efficiency, integrated resilience, emerging and secure technologies, and replicable renewable energy solutions.
This year’s event features more than 200 technical training sessions and serves as DOE’s most dynamic opportunity to share best practices, provide technical information and tools, and offer accredited training to federal facility and energy managers. DOE will recognize innovative private sector partners and federal leaders at the FEDS Spotlight and Better Buildings Challenge Partner Recognition sessions and will provide on-site technical expertise alongside experts from the national laboratories at the Ask-an-Expert Lounge.
The Opening Plenary begins at 8:30am Tuesday, August 21, and features speakers from FEMP, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). On Tuesday afternoon, attendees can participate in Showcase Building Tours. Better Buildings partners and other Cleveland-area organizations are opening their doors to share the insights and experiences behind their energy and water-efficient properties and the strategies that help them achieve their goals. Tour groups will meet in Grand Ballroom C at the Huntington Convention Center by 2:00pm to check in, sign a waiver, and be guided to their destination. A limited number of walk-on spaces will be available; these are first-come, first-serve.
Wednesday features Better Buildings Sector Meet-ups, Keynote speakers - including the Mayor of Cleveland, Chairman of the Ohio PUC, and C-suite executives from Legrand and Cleveland Clinic - the Resilience Roundtable and Buildings and the Grid roundtable discussions, and a reception for all attendees from 5:30 - 7:30pm. Throughout the conference Tuesday-Thursday, technical experts from the National Labs, FEMP, and more will be staffing the Ask-an-Expert Lounge outside the Energy Exchange Trade Show. View the full schedule here.
|May 10, 2018||
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the progress made by more than 900 public and private-sector organizations that are driving energy efficiency in the U.S. economy through their participation in the Better Buildings Initiative. This includes 380 trillion Btus, or $3.1 billion in reported cumulative energy and cost savings from the set of market leaders that have stepped up to the Better Buildings Challenge. Moreover, partners across the Better Buildings Initiative are sharing their innovative approaches and successful strategies to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices. The 2018 Better Buildings Progress Report released today highlights this progress in the commercial, industrial, residential and public sectors to improve energy productivity.
"Partners in the Better Buildings Initiative are achieving impressive energy savings worthy of celebration," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "Partners are meeting their savings goals, testing the latest technologies, and sharing their results. Together, they are showcasing a new generation of energy saving solutions."
The Better Buildings Initiative has grown to encompass more than 900 organizations, which represents 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13% of total commercial building space, as well as 28 states and close to 100 cities and counties across the nation.
|Jun 27, 2017||
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge recognized Loews Hotels & Co. for the energy efficiency upgrades made at the Vanderbilt Hotel through the company's showcase project. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Loews has set a goal to reduce energy use across all of its hotels by 20% in ten years. Over the past two years, the Vanderbilt hotel has improved its energy efficiency by 22% and achieved a total energy cost savings of $328,250.
With updates to lighting and HVAC systems, guest rooms, and building envelope, the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is demonstrating how building efficiency upgrades can preserve both comfort and affordability for its visitors.
|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||
Children around the nation are heading back to school, and some are going into buildings that have significant energy savings potential. Zero energy schools can use up to 80% less energy than conventional schools—that’s a lot of money that could be used for school supplies instead of energy bills! The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with k-12 school districts around the country to break down barriers to zero energy and create inspiring, dynamic learning environments. Through the assistance of technical experts and solutions-oriented peer exchange, school districts and states are creating facilities that can produce enough renewable energy to meet their consumption needs, while also providing students and educators environments to thrive in.
|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.
|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.
|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:
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.
|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.
|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.