Better Buildings, Better Plants: Newsroom

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.

Sep 29, 2017

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that partners in its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program have saved about $4.2 billion in cumulative energy costs across nearly 3,000 facilities that represent about 12 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. In addition, DOE is recognizing the achievements of nine partners who have met their energy or water savings goals this year and welcoming 12 new partners who have joined the program.  

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.

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.

Sample coverage

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. 

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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.

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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.

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Oct 02, 2014

Building on the Administration’s efforts to double energy productivity and help American businesses save money by saving energy, the Energy Department today recognized 11 companies that have met ambitious energy-efficiency goals through the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. Across the country, manufacturers spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. Through the Energy Department’s Better Plants Program, American manufacturers commit to improve their energy intensity by 25 percent over ten years, or an equally ambitious level for their sector.

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.

Nov 22, 2013

Through the Better Plants Challenge, Alcoa has demonstrated leadership by setting an ambitious goal to reduce the energy intensity of 29 of its plants by 25 percent by 2020 and sharing strategies and best practices to help other U.S. companies improve their energy efficiency. U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Danielson joined officials from Alcoa to tour the company’s Cleveland facility and its recent energy efficiency improvements. In addition, Alcoa and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal are co-hosting an energy efficiency training program at their Cleveland plants this week for staff at both companies. Sponsored by the Department of Energy, this hands-on technical training will further help plant staff identify new opportunities that reduce energy use and save money.

Sep 25, 2013

Accomplishments across the Better Plants Program are summarized in the Department of Energy's Better Plants Progress Update - Fall 2013. Additionally, 13 companies have stepped up to the Better Plants Challenge, which is the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge.