Better Buildings, Better Plants: Newsroom

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

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.

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.

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.

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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.