Chicago and DC Receive Awards, BBC Partners Convene to Share Energy Solutions

By Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Jan 10, 2018

In December, two Better Buildings Challenge Partners – Chicago and the District of Columbia– received recognition for their leadership in energy and sustainability.

The City of Chicago earned the Cities4Energy award, one of the 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, lauding excellence in building energy efficiency and clean energy. The city received the award for their Retrofit Chicago program, which encourages, supports, and recognizes voluntary energy efficiency leadership in residential, commercial, institutional, and municipal buildings. Retrofit Chicago also supports the city’s Better Buildings Challenge goal to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2022 compared to the year 2011, across 24 million square feet of public and private buildings. Chicago is making great progress toward that goal with an average annual energy savings of 3.6 percent, which is comparable to a 16 percent cumulative improvement.

The District of Columbia was also a 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award recipient, bringing home the Cities4Tomorrow award recognizing the most ambitious adaptation plans and programs. The award was given to the District in recognition of their Climate Ready D.C. plan. The plan outlines 77 actions the District can take to mitigate climate related stresses and threats across four categories: utilities and transportation infrastructure; buildings and development; neighborhoods and communities; and governance. The plan and its many actions pertaining to green building and energy efficient infrastructure complements the District’s Better Buildings Challenge goal to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2020 compared to the year 2010, across 65 million square feet of public and private buildings.  Through 2015, D.C. has improved energy improved by an average 2.9 percent per year across its public portfolio of 21 million square feet, which is comparable to an 8 percent cumulative improvement.

The awards were given at the 2017 North American Climate Summit hosted by the City of Chicago. Chicago welcomed city leaders from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico to collaborate on new initiatives and recognize those adopting innovative energy and sustainability strategies.  Better Buildings Challenge Partners were well represented. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett discussed the city’s Energy Efficiency Program (Me2) and Better Buildings Challenge Milwaukee. Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh, Mayor Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, and Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City highlighted recent action in their cities, including in the areas of district energy, benchmarking ordinances, and access to affordable energy.