Better Buildings, Better Plants: Newsroom

Sep 19, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2022 Better Plants Progress Update. The report highlights the leadership of more than 270 manufacturers and water utilities who partner with DOE to increase energy and water efficiency. Collectively, these partners have saved $10.6 billion in energy costs, 2.2 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of energy, and more than 130 million metric tons of CO2.

"Decarbonizing the industrial sector is one of our great challenges,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Carolyn Snyder. “Better Plants partners are rising to the challenge and showing leadership by prioritizing energy efficiency and sharing best practices with their peers. Industrial partners save energy and money while creating good-paying jobs, strengthening our economy, and driving market innovation.”

As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants works with industrial partners to develop, implement, and share technologies and best practices to increase energy and water efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities. Partners represent every major U.S. industrial sector, comprising 14% of the domestic manufacturing footprint and 3,600 facilities across the country. Better Plants partners voluntarily pledge to reduce portfolio-wide energy intensity by 25% over 10 years. DOE works with partners to meet their goals by providing technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, technology validation and training, and workforce development. To date, Better Plants partners have achieved more than 75 energy or water goals.

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.

Nov 06, 2021

During Scotland Visit, Sec. Granholm Launched Third Energy Earthshot, Established Major Initiatives with International Partners to Accelerate Emissions Reductions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). As a key member of the U.S. delegation, the Secretary convened a series of bilateral and multilateral meetings with her international counterparts to drive forward collaboration that will raise global climate ambition, accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation and deployment, and create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy, at home and abroad.  

In the U.S. Pavilion on the COP26 stage, the Secretary was joined by the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, to announce Net Zero World—DOE’s flagship contribution to President Biden’s Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative. Through Net Zero World, countries announced they will work with the United States in a whole-of-government approach and with DOE’s 17 national laboratories, along with private entities, to create and implement tailored, actionable technology road maps and investment strategies that put net zero within reach. 

Additional DOE announcements made at COP26 to advance climate and clean energy goals include:

  • The Better Climate Challenge— DOE is challenging companies, states, municipalities, and other organizations to commit to reducing emissions from enterprise-wide operations—that’s buildings and manufacturing—by at least 50% within 10 years. DOE will support their efforts with technical assistance and peer to peer learning to share solutions to reduce emissions from their facilities and fleets and through power purchasing decisions. This effort will build on over a decade of experience through the Better Buildings Initiative. DOE has started engaging leaders across the U.S. economy leading to 32 organizations already joining the Better Climate Challenge. Learn more.
     
  • U.S. Nuclear Technology Sales to Romania— Secretary Granholm and Romanian Minster of Energy Virgil Popescu announced a new agreement to build a “first-of-a-kind” small modular reactor (SMR) plant in Romania in partnership with U.S. NuScale Power, bringing the latest civil nuclear technology to a critical part of Europe. Learn more.
     
  • Global Clean Technology Incubator Network— DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will partner with other national labs, technical institutions, investors and corporations, governments, and philanthropies around the world to create a global network of clean energy incubators. This public-private partnership will work with entrepreneurs and corporations to scale up the development, financing, and adoption of low to zero emission clean energy innovations in emerging and developed markets. Partners from India, South Africa, Chile, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, South Korea are ready to team with U.S. counterparts on this incubator initiative. 
     
  • H2 Twin Cities Launch— H2 Twin Cities will accelerate hydrogen deployments by having regions and communities pair up and showcase best practices and lessons learned to ramp up scale. Through H2 Twin Cities, communities will partner to share ideas, mentor and learn from each other, build a community of hydrogen best practices, and strengthen global action to make environmental justice, social equity, and clean energy jobs central to hydrogen deployment. This initiative is being launched in collaboration with other countries and part of the United States’ deliverables under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Hydrogen Initiative. 
     
  • Global Nuclear Energy Transitions and Communities— The Nuclear Energy Transitions and Communities initiative and the CEM Researching Impacts on Social Equity and Economic Empowerment (RISE3) Expert Group will accelerate the replacement of unabated coal plants with new advanced nuclear technologies through breakthrough nuclear innovations. These initiatives will provide expert resources and create a blueprint for countries transitioning to a clean and just energy economy with nuclear as a key pillar.  The initiative will focus on nuclear’s role in advancing environmental justice and equity; integrating variable renewable resources to the grid; and uplifting economies and quality of life, especially through coal plant conversions.  
     

Read the full U.S. Department of Energy Press Release

Nov 03, 2021

DOE is challenging companies, states, municipalities, and other organizations to set ambitious, portfolio-wide, and near-term operational greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals to demonstrate leadership and share real-world pathways to address climate change. Through the Better Climate Challenge, partners will commit to a portfolio-wide goal of at least 50% by 2030 and DOE will support their efforts with technical assistance and peer-to-peer learning to share solutions to reduce emissions from their facilities and through power purchasing decisions. This effort will build on over a decade of experience through the Better Buildings Initiative to drive portfolio-wide accountable and transparent commitments across the public and private sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial, industrial, and multifamily sector, while providing whole-of-government technical assistance to help those companies/organizations meet their targets. DOE has started engaging leaders across the U.S. economy. There are already 32 organizations that have joined Better Climate Challenge. Learn more here.

 

Oct 14, 2021

On Thursday, October 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Fall 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants progress update. The report highlights more than 250 manufacturers and water utilities that have introduced energy efficiency and decarbonization measures, cumulatively saving $9.3 billion in energy costs and 1.9 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) -- more energy than the state of Wisconsin consumes in a year. The Better Buildings, Better Plants Program aims to decarbonize the industrial sector and the progress and success of its partners' achievements will help accelerate the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goals of a net-zero economy by 2050.

“The industrial sector is one of the hardest to decarbonize, but America’s market leaders are leaning into the challenge to deliver cleaner air for all,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is helping industry partners develop, implement, and share cutting-edge technologies and practices that save energy and money, protect our environment, and increase our nation's competitiveness."

DOE’s Better Plants program partners include every major U.S. industrial sector representing almost 14% of the domestic manufacturing footprint and 3,500 facilities across the country. By joining Better Plants, partners voluntarily pledge to reduce portfolio-wide energy intensity by roughly 25% over 10 years. DOE works with partners to meet ambitious energy and sustainability goals by providing technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning, technology validation and training, and workforce development. More than 60 partner organizations have met and, in some cases, substantially exceeded the energy and water goals established by Better Plants.

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.

Oct 29, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of the Industrial Technology Validation (ITV) pilot to validate and accelerate the adoption of cost-effective, emerging technologies with the potential to generate significant operational efficiency improvements for the U.S. industrial sector and water and wastewater treatment facilities.

“Under the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE is proud to partner with industry in support of American energy competitiveness,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Participants are teaming with innovative technology vendors to realize significant energy savings for American businesses and consumers.”

Oct 01, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have cumulatively saved more than $8 billion in energy costs and 1.7 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs).

More than 235 organizations now partner with DOE through Better Plants. This year, DOE welcomed 20 new partners to the program and challenge, representing 3,200 facilities and roughly 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. These partners come from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and include Fortune 100 companies, family-owned small businesses, and water treatment organizations.

“Better Plants Partners exemplify the innovative spirit of American manufacturing,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Alex Fitzsimmons. “These partners are developing, implementing, and sharing innovative, energy-efficient practices that help their organizations save energy and money, which in turn helps the U.S. economy stay competitive.”

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.

Oct 29, 2019

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings, Better Plants partner TE Connectivity for energy productivity advances made in its Lickdale, Pennsylvania plant. The 254,000-square-foot plant employs 500 people and manufactures electrical connectors and contacts used in many applications, primarily household appliances. Through its energy efficiency efforts, the facility saves more than $200,000 per year in energy costs and nearly 10 billion British thermal units, compared to a 2012 baseline.

TE Connectivity first joined DOE’s Better Plants Challenge in 2009 and met its initial energy reduction goal in 2013. The company then set another goal of reducing energy intensity by 25% by 2022, which was met this past year. The manufacturer has committed 66 U.S.-based facilities, including the Lickdale plant, to the Better Plants Challenge and has hosted more than 100 "treasure hunts" in plants to engage operators and employees in finding energy efficiency opportunities. Read more in the full news release.

Sep 25, 2019

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have cumulatively saved $6.7 billion in energy costs and more than 1.3 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs). More than 220 organizations now partner with DOE through Better Plants; DOE welcomed 22 new companies to the program this year. These partners have more than 3,200 facilities and represent roughly 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint.

Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants partnership, managed by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE works with partners who have set ambitious energy, water, and/or waste reduction goals. As of 2019, partners have met and exceeded 60 energy goals. All partners share their energy performance data and solutions with other companies, helping to expand innovation and savings throughout the industrial sector. Read more in the 2019 Better Plants Progress Update.

May 06, 2019

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the energy productivity achievements of Eastman Chemical, a global advanced materials and specialty additives company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee. As a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, Eastman committed to improving its energy performance across all U.S. operations by 20%, from a 2008 baseline, while sharing strategies and results. Eastman has improved its energy productivity by approximately 12% since joining, putting the company more than halfway toward its goal.

"By partnering with companies like Eastman to lower energy costs, the Better Plants program is helping to improve manufacturing competitiveness in the United States,” said Daniel R. Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office at DOE. Simmons visited Eastman’s Kingsport headquarters, the partner’s Showcase Project, and toured the facility. "Seeing first-hand the energy productivity gains that Eastman has accomplished at their Tennessee operations, one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America, it’s clear they have a model for other U.S. manufacturers to follow. Their energy productivity gains help cut costs, create jobs, and drive economic growth."

Nov 09, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) prize, a competition designed to identify and attract attention to a wide range of ideas and practices that are driving measurable energy savings at U.S. manufacturing plants to stimulate innovation at other facilities. The ITEAM Prize is a means to find individuals who were responsible for creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to significant, measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities; and encourage those individuals to widely share their ideas and practices for the benefit of U.S. manufacturing facilities nationwide.

DOE is dedicating up to $75,000 for these awards, and will select up to five winners in each category of small, medium, and large manufacturers, for a total of up to 15 winners. Each winner will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000. In addition to the cash prize, the winners will be recognized and given an opportunity to present their submissions at the annual Better Buildings Summit and/or the World Energy Engineering Congress or a similar event. Winning ideas and practices will be highlighted on DOE’s Better Buildings Solutions Center website and winners may have an opportunity to participate in webinars and other events to share their ideas and practices with other organizations.

Oct 10, 2018

Today DOE announced that Better Buildings, Better Plants Program partners have reported a savings of more than $5.3 billion in cumulative energy costs. This represents approximately 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. DOE is recognizing 12 new program partners, as well as 10 partners that have achieved their energy or water savings goal this year, bringing the total number of partners who have achieved their goals to 53. 

More than 200 partners in the Better Plants program are reducing energy costs that increase productivity, create jobs, and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness. Read the full 2018 Better Plants Annual Update report to learn more about the successes and how the Better Plants program plans to boost competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.

Aug 23, 2018

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized 19 Better Buildings Challenge partners who achieved their energy productivity goals for 2018 and 26 partners who have set new Challenge goals after meeting their initial goals. Since the start of this voluntary program, Better Buildings Challenge partners together have saved $3.1 billion in energy-cost savings and 380 trillion British thermal units of energy.

Since the start of the program, more than 65 partners and financial allies have met their energy efficiency, water efficiency and/or financing goals ahead of schedule. Many of these goal achievers have publicly committed to new Challenge goals, demonstrating that continual energy efficiency improvement is possible even after sizable gains have already been made.

DOE recognizes the following partners for achieving the energy, water, and financial goals they set as partners in the Better Buildings Challenge:

  • Anthem, Inc (energy and water) – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Ascension (energy) – St. Louis, Missouri
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (financial) – New York, New York
  • C. F. Martin & Co., Inc. (energy) – Nazareth, Pennsylvania
  • Citi (financial) – New York, New York
  • City of Chicago, Illinois (energy) – Chicago, Illinois
  • Columbia Association (energy) – Columbia, Maryland
  • EDF Renewables (financial) – San Diego, California
  • General Motors (energy) – Detroit, Michigan
  • Jersey City Housing Authority (energy) – Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Legrand (energy) – Hartford, Connecticut
  • Metrus Energy (financial) – San Francisco, California
  • New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (financial) – New York, New York
  • PACE Equity (financial) – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Shari’s Café & Pies (water) – Beaverton, Oregon
  • Sol Systems (financial) – Washington, D.C.
  • State of North Carolina (energy)
  • Tower Companies (water) – Rockville, Maryland
  • UW Health (energy) – Middleton, Wisconsin

The following partners have met their goals previously and are being recognized today for setting new Challenge goals to achieve even greater energy and/or water efficiency:

  • 3M – 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Bank America Merrill Lynch – an additional $3 billion in funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Bentley Mills – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2024
  • Cardington Yutaka Technologies – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2029
  • Celanese – 15% reduction in energy intensity by 2020
  • Citi - $2.25 billion in funding committed for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • City of Hillsboro, OR – 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • City of West Palm Beach, FL – 15% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Enterprise Community Partners - $130 million in funding committed for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Hannon Armstrong - $1 billion in funding committed for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • HARBEC – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Havertys – 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2019
  • Legrand – 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Lennox International – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Metrus Energy - $175 million in funding committed for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Nissan North America – 15% reduction in energy intensity by 2022
  • River Trails School District 26, IL – 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2026
  • Schneider Electric – 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2028
  • Shorenstein Properties LLC – 40% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • TE Connectivity – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2024
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. – 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2026
  • United Technologies Corporation (UTC) – 17.5% reduction in energy intensity by 2020
  • University of California, Irvine – 40% reduction in energy intensity by 2020
  • UW Health – 34% reduction in energy intensity by 2027
  • Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority – 60% reduction in energy intensity by 2025
  • Volvo Group North America – 25% reduction in energy intensity by 2024

DOE aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade as part of the Better Buildings Initiative. Greater energy efficiency saves billions of dollars, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates U.S. jobs. More than 900 Better Buildings partners are sharing their innovative approaches and successful strategies to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies.

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

Jun 04, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the energy productivity achievements of C.F. Martin & Co. ® (Martin Guitar), a Nazareth, Pennsylvania-based guitar manufacturer and a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge. As a partner in DOE’s Better Plants Challenge, Martin Guitar committed to improving its energy performance across all of their U.S. operations by 25% within 10 years while sharing their strategies and results. Martin Guitar, founded in 1833 and continuously family owned and operated for six generations, achieved this energy efficiency milestone only two years after joining the program.

"Manufacturing competitiveness is a key goal of this Administration," said Daniel Simmons, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. "Through the DOE’s Better Plants program, manufacturers like C.F. Martin are using energy more productively, creating jobs, and driving economic growth."

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. 

Apr 24, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled the fourth installment of the "Better Buildings Challenge SWAP," featuring General Motors and L'Oréal USA. In this online video series, the companies swap energy management teams to gain new insights, save money and improve the energy performance of their industrial facilities. The result is an informative, behind the scenes look at what it takes to improve manufacturing competitiveness through energy efficiency.

Through the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, DOE is partnering with private-sector businesses and public-sector organizations to successfully explore and share new ways to reduce their energy use and improve their productivity. The webisodes are an engaging, behind the scenes look at leaders in action and demonstrate the value of sharing ideas and best practices.

"General Motors and L'Oréal USA are taking this unique challenge and paving the way for other industrial companies to improve their energy efficiency and save money," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan. "This is a rare opportunity to see these energy leaders in action, learn how American products are manufactured and understand how to apply their energy management expertise to buildings and facilities nationwide."

Apr 10, 2018

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced the Sustainability in Manufacturing partnership. Through this partnership fostered by DOE’s Better Plants program, DOE and the NAM will work together to help U.S. manufacturers drive energy productivity improvements and accelerate adoption of energy efficient technologies.

The Sustainability in Manufacturing partnership will provide DOE and the NAM the opportunity to engage directly with manufacturers, identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements, and serve as a platform to recognize companies and leaders that have led the way in the application of innovative strategies.

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.

Sep 23, 2016

On September 23, Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that 12 partners in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program have met their energy or water savings goals this year, and 30 new partners have joined the program, representing significant growth for the program to accelerate progress in energy and water savings. Since President Obama launched the Better Buildings, Better Plants program five years ago, partners have saved more than $3 billion in cumulative energy costs.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, launched in 2011. The goal of the Better Buildings program is to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over ten years.

Better Plants partners represent more than 11 percent of the manufacturing sector’s total energy footprint, with over 2,500 facilities across the United States. So far, partners have reported cumulative energy savings of 600 trillion BTUs, and nearly 35 million metric tons of avoided climate-changing carbon emissions.

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.

Oct 13, 2015

As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut climate-changing carbon emissions produced by the nation’s buildings and manufacturing plants, today the U.S. Department of Energy recognized General Mills, one of the world’s leading food companies, for its leadership in pursuing energy savings through innovative technologies as demonstrated in its Cedar Rapids, Iowa plant. Through the Energy Department’s Better Plants Challenge, General Mills has committed to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years in 25 manufacturing plants across the country. Altogether, the improvements at the Cedar Rapids plant are expected to save General Mills more than $4 million per year in energy costs, reducing the plant’s total energy bill by more than a third. 

Sep 30, 2015

Today, the Energy Department announced that manufacturers in its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program have racked up an estimated $2.4 billion in cumulative energy cost savings over the last five years. Over the last year, 21 new industrial partners joined the Better Plants program, including 12 water and wastewater treatment agencies — part of a strategic expansion to increase energy efficiency across the nation’s water infrastructure. Close to 160 industrial organizations representing more than 2,400 facilities are partnering with the Energy Department through Better Plants. Together, these partners consume about 2.2 quadrillion BTUs of energy, which is approximately 11.4 percent of the U.S. manufacturing sector’s total use, or about the same as the state of Tennessee’s annual energy consumption. The Department also announced that nine partners have met their energy efficiency targets this year.

 

Nov 06, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized Cummins for demonstrating leadership in reducing energy consumption and costs at its Jamestown Engine Plant. The plant is a Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge showcase project, and features multi-million dollar energy-saving infrastructure upgrades and a new, 2 megawatt solar installation, capable of generating about a third of the plant’s power on the sunniest days. The efficiency improvements made to this site will result in an estimated 250 billion BTUs in energy savings—translating into $1.4 million in annual savings. Cummins has committed to a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2016 across 104 facilities, including 19 plants, covering eight million square feet. It has already achieved its goal with a cumulative reduction of 34 percent, and plans to announce a new energy efficiency target soon.

Apr 01, 2014

The Department of Energy today recognized Volvo Group North America for its leadership in energy efficiency at the New River Valley assembly plant near Roanoke, Va. As a Better Buildings, Better Plants partner, the Volvo Group has already achieved 16 percent savings across its U.S. plants and continues working toward its goal of becoming 25 percent more energy efficient within ten years.