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.”
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.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Chesapeake College for energy efficiency advances made throughout its Wye Mills, Maryland campus. The college has reduced its energy intensity by 24% since 2011, reaching its Better Buildings Challenge goal of 20% energy reduction eight years ahead of schedule. Chesapeake College has saved more than $250,000 per year in energy costs, and is committed to achieving carbon neutrality in campus operations by 2025.
While adding 20% more campus space, the college has continued to reduce energy usage through equipment upgrades, energy efficiency education programs, and new building and system operations scheduling across the 373,000-square-foot campus. The campus has made sustainability advances beyond energy efficiency as well, including campus-based and publicly-accessible recycling.
Most recently, the college completed a 1.8-megawatt solar array with 1-megawatt battery backup. Through a power purchase agreement and a partnership with the local utility, the college is developing this project into a partial campus microgrid. In times of crisis or disaster, the microgrid will allow campus buildings to serve as critical infrastructure for the regional community, providing stability and resilience.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner MetLife Investment Management for energy efficiency advances made in its District Center. The 910,000-square-foot building in Washington, D.C. is a Better Buildings showcase project and saves 31% annually on energy costs, which equates to more than $500,000 per year, a 33% energy reduction compared to a 2014 baseline.
As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, MetLife Investment Management has committed to reducing its energy intensity by 20% by 2026 over its 53 million-square-foot portfolio. The efficiency progress made at District Center is a key milestone as MetLife works toward this goal and showcases its work.
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.
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.
Today, DOE recognized Better Buildings Alliance partner Gundersen Health System at their Sparta Clinic in Wisconsin for impressive portfolio-wide energy efficiency advances. As part of its Envision Sustainability Program, Gundersen is pursuing energy efficiency through low-energy design standards coupled with renewable energy. Since 2008, Gundersen has saved more than $11 million through energy efficiency upgrades and Gundersen’s Sparta Clinic uses over 50% less energy than the average clinic.
Sparta Clinic was built with sustainable design features aimed at achieving its energy usage goal of 35 kBtu per square foot. After being open just over a year, the clinic surpassed its energy savings goal by 9% which resulted in an annual energy savings of more than $68,500. In May 2017, the clinic was certified LEED Gold for Building Design + Construction.
Additional media coverage:
On July 16, DOE recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner University of Virginia (UVA) for impressive energy efficiency advances made on its campus. UVA is home to more than 40,000 students, faculty, and staff and more than 500 buildings. As a partner in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, UVA committed to improving its energy performance by 20% in 10 years across 15.3 million square feet.
Representatives from DOE visited UVA’s Better Buildings Showcase Project Clark Hall to tour the building’s energy and water upgrades. UVA implemented a combination of energy and water conservation upgrades, converting all 5,000 interior and exterior fixtures from fluorescent lamps to LED, installing low-flow toilets and faucet aerators, recalibrating air handling units, and upgrading HVAC controls. As a result, Clark Hall achieved an annual energy savings of $750,000, or 65%, along with an annual water savings of $22,000, or 79%, relative to their pre-retrofit baseline.
Additional media coverage:
- Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge recognizes UVA’s Clark Hall, Charlottesville Tomorrow
- U.S Dept. of Energy Touts UVA's Energy-Efficiency Upgrades, WVIR-TV Online
- UVA honored for energy savings at Clark Hall, WCAV-TV Online
- Recap and Photos
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.
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.
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."
The U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing eight organizations for their leadership in the Better Buildings Initiative’s Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign. Since the Campaign’s inception in 2013, more than 350 participants have impacted 160,000 rooftop units, saving $110 million and more than 1 billion kWh annually.
The Advanced RTU Campaign provides technical resources and recognition to commercial building owners, managers, and operators that want to increase building performance and upgrade rooftop units to high-efficiency RTU technologies. The Campaign works in close liaison with manufacturers, utilities, energy efficiency organizations, and contractors who contribute to the Campaign’s success. Through the Campaign and other initiatives, DOE supports research and development for new RTU technologies. Although payback periods can vary, a well implemented replacement or retrofit of RTUs with advanced controls can have a payback of one to four years. View the list of winners.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partners Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and Mercy Housing for impressive energy efficiency advances made in multifamily buildings. Both partners have completed showcase projects and are on their way to meeting their goals of reducing energy use by 20% portfolio-wide over 10 years. Mercy Housing has 21 million square feet in its portfolio; TNDC has 2.3 million square feet and has also set a 20% water reduction goal.
Representatives from DOE and HUD visited TNDC’s Better Buildings Showcase Project Alexander Residence and Mercy Housing’s Better Buildings Showcase Project 205 Jones Street Apartments to tour the buildings’ energy and water upgrades. Each organization has recently completed major energy and water efficiency improvements to these properties in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. As a result, the Alexander Residence expects to achieve an annual energy savings of $20,000 or 17% relative to their pre-retrofit baseline. To date, the first-in-class improvements to 205 Jones Street have achieved annual energy savings of $23,319, a 22% cost savings relative to their pre-retrofit utility expenses.
TNDC and Mercy Housing each implemented a combination of energy and water conservation upgrades in their respective building, including a new solar thermal hot water system, energy-efficient steam boiler, thermostatic radiator valves and pipe insulation, new LED lighting throughout tenant and common areas, low-flow water fixtures, and new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and washing machines. The interventions have resulted in reduced utility costs for both the housing providers and residents, increased resident comfort, and improved asset financial sustainability, which will help preserve affordability in these locations for the long term.
TNDC and Mercy Housing work to preserve affordable housing and services for low-income families and individuals throughout the Bay Area and the U.S., respectively. TNDC’s Alexander Residence is a 12-story building constructed in 1928 and houses 179 seniors with average annual incomes less than $12,000. Mercy Housing’s 205 Jones Street Apartments was constructed in 1920 and serves residents who earn 50-60% of the area median income.
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 and HUD partner 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.
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.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Alliance partner REI for the energy productivity advances made in its Arizona distribution center located in Goodyear, Arizona. Supporting 40% of the co-op’s stores and employing more than 200 people, the center has achieved an annual energy savings of 18% and annual cost savings of $170,000 from the baseline in the first two years of operation. The Goodyear distribution center is REI’s Better Buildings Showcase Project.
To meet an ambitious goal to have the facility be net-zero energy consumption, REI installed a 2.2-megawatt solar system which is expected to power the entire facility, bringing REI's overall annual energy savings to 100%. The solar array covers 280,000 square feet of roof space and the city of Goodyear's power station is adjacent to the facility, which helps reduce energy loss through transmission.
REI has implemented other measures as well. REI installed a non-evaporative cooling system which eliminated the need for cooling towers, saving millions of gallons of water every year. The distribution center put energy efficiency directly in the hands of its employees by adding hyperchairs that give staff the ability to control their own microclimate with individual fans and heating elements. Additional energy and cost savings are expected for 2019 as a result of retro-commissioning work completed in late 2018.
The REI facility is the industry’s first omni-channel 1-touch fulfillment system, which enables one person to process items eight times faster than at a typical distribution center by using robotic shuttles to move products. In partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation and The Nature Conservancy of Arizona, REI has supported modernization of irrigation infrastructure to conserve water and enhance flows for recreation and wildlife, protect farmland and limit development and water extraction in sensitive areas, as well as removal of invasive plants to restore river habitat.
REI joined DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance in 2015. Since becoming a partner, REI has actively participated in program events, including webinars, meetings, and working groups to share energy efficiency best practices with peers in the retail sector.
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.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Bullitt County Public Schools (BCPS) for the energy productivity advances made in its Mt. Washington Elementary School. Located in Shepherdsville, Kentucky and serving more than 13,000 students, the school district committed to improving its energy performance by 20% over a 10-year period across its 2 million-square-foot portfolio. The school district is well on its way to achieving this goal and has already reduced energy by 18% from a 2013 baseline.
Director of DOE's Better Buildings Challenge Maria Vargas visited Mt. Washington Elementary School, the district’s Better Buildings Showcase Project, to congratulate the school on its significant energy savings achieved.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Better Buildings Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) recognized 15 organizations for leading the way in upgrading their interior lighting and control systems. These partners, along with those recognized in the last two years, have newly installed or upgraded more than 2.8 million lighting fixtures and controls system - cutting energy use on average by 54% and saving $68 million on energy bills.
On average, lighting accounts for 15% - 20% of the electricity that U.S. buildings consume annually, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey. Case studies conducted by DOE over the course of the ILC estimate that building owners or managers can save up to 60% in energy costs when replacing less efficient troffers with new ones, and up to 80% of lighting energy by adding controls such as dimmers, timers, and occupancy sensors.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge partner, Sabey Data Centers, for the energy productivity achievements of its Intergate Quincy multi-tenant data center. As a partner in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, Sabey committed to improving its energy performance by 20 percent over a 10-year period, and to sharing the results and strategies with other companies. The company surpassed its original goal of 20 percent by 2024, improving energy performance across its more than 3 million square feet of data center space by 24 percent from a 2014 baseline.
"Through the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, data centers like Sabey’s are using energy more productively," said Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. "We applaud Sabey for sharing its results and best practices with other companies."
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."
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.
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."
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign is recognizing seven organizations for their leadership in installing more energy efficient RTUs in commercial buildings. As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the Advanced RTU Campaign works with commercial building owners, managers, and operators that wish to upgrade to high-efficiency RTU technologies and practices in commercial buildings, as well as utilities, energy efficiency organizations, contractors, and manufacturers that can assist. Since its 2013 launch, more than 300 partners have replaced or upgraded close to 115,000 units, saving more than $90 million in energy costs annually.
Together these seven organizations replaced and/or retrofitted more than 10,000 units and installed 5,800 Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics (AFDD) systems in a single year, realizing an annual savings of more than 50 million kilowatt hours (kWhs), equivalent to $5 million. New recognition categories for AFDD and intelligent controls were included this year to align with the campaign’s enhanced focus on operational efficiency.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized two Seattle-area Better Buildings Challenge partners, King County and Shari's Café & Pies, for their successful energy-efficient upgrade achievements at the King County International Airport and the local Shari's in Lynnwood, Washington. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, these two partners committed to reducing energy use across their properties by at least 20% in 10 years.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge is pleased to recognize Las Vegas Sands Corporation for energy-efficiency upgrades made throughout their properties including The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Las Vegas Sands Corporation set a goal to reduce energy use across its hotels by 20% in 10 years. From 2011 to 2016, Las Vegas Sands Corporation has reduced energy consumption by 17%, saving more than 500 million kBtu.
Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the results of the Better Buildings Alliance's Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC), recognizing 13 organizations leading the way in efficient troffer lighting and control systems upgrades. Altogether, the ILC partners have exceeded the national goal to replace 1 million troffers and have already upgraded 1.2 million lighting and controls systems for a combined savings of $18.5 million. The Better Buildings Alliance's ILC is a collaborative program designed to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency interior lighting solutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched the third installment of the “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring two cities that have already faced off on the national stage this year—Atlanta and Boston. In this online video series, the cities swap energy management teams to gain new insights, save money and improve their buildings through greater energy efficiency.
The U.S. Department of Energy, through the Better Buildings Alliance's Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC), is recognizing eight organizations for their energy efficiency leadership in replacing and upgrading rooftop units (RTUs) in commercial buildings. Since 2013, 300 partners have replaced or upgraded a total of 77,000 units, saving over $166 million in energy costs and racking up $66 million in savings in 2016 alone.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Better Buildings Challenge recognized the Corcoran Management Company today for its renewable and energy-efficient upgrades implemented at Canterbury Towers, one of the company's multi-family housing facilities located in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Canterbury Towers demonstrates how building efficiency upgrades can preserve quality living for elderly and disabled persons. Most recently, at this property, Corcoran Management is preserving the comfort and affordability for its residents with updates to the lighting and HVAC systems, and the replacement of all windows. Altogether the 100,000 square foot, 156-unit affordable apartment community has cut energy use by 30% and is saving $50,000 annually on energy costs.
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.
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.
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.
The Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge program recognized University of California, Berkeley for its leadership in energy efficiency. The University achieved 65 percent energy savings at its Jacobs Hall facility, the College of Engineering’s interdisciplinary hub where students and teachers from across the university work at the intersection of design and technology. Through its Energy Management Initiative (EMI)—an innovative approach to linking energy costs to building occupants—UC Berkeley has achieved campus-wide energy savings of $6.5 million and now has a practice in place to help benchmark energy performance in its buildings.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a new collaborative effort among 60 local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress across the country. The BCA was announced today by the White House during Smart Cities Week.
As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will deliver new clean energy resources, technical assistance, and facilitate collaboration between public and private partners by making it easier for participants to connect and exchange ideas.
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.
The Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge recognized the Wendy’s Company and its franchisee, Wendco Group, for leadership in energy efficiency. This local restaurant achieved a 37 percent total energy reduction or more than 50 percent energy savings per sales transaction, and nearly $8,000 in savings annually.
Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Wendy’s has committed to achieving 20 percent energy savings over 10 years, across 1.5 million square feet of building space at company-owned restaurants. It’s also the first restaurant company to include franchisees. To date, six franchisees have joined, adding an additional 270 restaurants (nearly 700,000 square feet) to the collective Wendy’s footprint.
Wendy’s joined the Better Buildings Challenge in January of this year and was so inspired by the program that the company started its own program called the Wendy’s Energy Challenge. The program is modeled after the Better Buildings Challenge and encourages Wendy’s franchisees across North America to be good stewards of energy usage.
As part of the Obama Administration's Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released best practice guidelines for Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. PACE is an innovative mechanism for financing energy efficiency, solar, and related improvements. DOE's updated best practices guidelines will enable more states and communities to adopt and implement residential PACE programs, unlocking access to affordable financing to reduce homeowners' energy bills, achieve more resilient homes and communities, and create jobs. DOE will also provide technical assistance to make it easier for states and communities to stand up effective PACE programs.
The updated guidelines also incorporate advancements in DOE residential energy efficiency analytical tools and resources, such as the DOE Home Energy Score and Standard Work Specifications, and step-by-step program guidance available through the Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center. These tools and resources can be used by PACE program administrators and participants to plan, develop and implement programs that effectively deliver home energy upgrades to participating households in their jurisdictions.
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.
- White House Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative
- Partner List: Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerators
The Energy Department today announced the results of this year’s Better Buildings Alliance technology and market campaigns. Through partnerships with public and private sector organizations, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with interested landlords, tenants, and owners to adopt solutions that best meet the needs of their buildings for sustainable leasing and upgrades to indoor lighting. There are now over 160 participants and supporters in the Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) and 40 Green Lease Leaders. Together these leading organizations continue to prove how novel thinking and innovative technologies can rapidly cut the energy wasted by the nation’s commercial buildings, including offices, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, and even military bases.
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.
- U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Progress Alert
- Memorandum of Understanding
- Quick 2-minute video featuring industry voices on importance of partnership
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today recognized the city of Orlando and Parkway Properties for their leadership in improving energy efficiency across a combined 20 million square feet of building space by 20 percent within 10 years. Through the department’s Better Buildings Challenge, Orlando-based Parkway Properties’ showcase project, office tower One Orlando Centre, is expected to save nearly 18 percent in energy costs and over 1.7 million gallons of water through energy and water efficiency efforts.
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.
Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, which involved Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market swapping energy management teams at their facilities in San Francisco.
As part of the SWAP, each team identified innovative ways to save energy in Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a 1.8 million sq. foot hotel and Whole Foods Ocean Avenue, a 25,600 sq. foot grocery store. A reality-style web series, including behind-the-scenes footage, featuring both teams is now available.
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:
- 18 utilities, serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers, will provide access to energy data building owners by 2017, the first step to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings;
- 30 cities and states and 21 organizations from across the country are committing to take new actions to make it easier to identify ways to cut energy waste by making energy data available to building owners,
- 24 cities, states, and businesses are committing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings 20 percent by 2020; and
- Seven cities and states from across the country are committing to install more efficient outdoor lighting.
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.
The Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge program recognized Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. for its leadership in energy efficiency and 38 percent energy savings at its flagship restaurant in Atlanta. As one of the first food service partners to join the Department’s Better Buildings Challenge, Arby’s has committed to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years, across 2.7 million square feet of building space, at company-owned restaurants. Within four years, Arby’s is more than halfway to meeting its goal.
As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Placer County for its leadership in improving energy efficiency across its 5-million-square-foot portfolio of countyowned buildings and schools by 20 percent in 10 years. Through the department’s Better Buildings Challenge, the county’s showcase project, the Granlibakken conference center and resort, is expecting a 43 percent reduction in energy use and savings of up to $44,000 each year.
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.
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.
Under the new HUD and DOE Home Energy Score partnership, in areas where the Home Energy Score is available, single family households will be able to increase their access to financing tools to make energy efficiency improvements. DOE’s Home Energy Score offers a “miles per gallon” type rating to estimate a home’s energy use on a 10-point scale. A “1” corresponds to the least energy efficient homes and a “10” corresponds to the most energy efficient homes, while the average U.S. home will score a “5.” Through this new partnership, homebuyers or homeowners who want to obtain an FHA-insured purchase or refinance mortgage for a single family home that receives a Home Energy Score of 6 or higher will be eligible to increase their income qualifying ratio by 2 percentage points above the standard Single Family FHA limit, making it easier to secure financing to make these improvements.
The Energy Department recognized Arizona’s Dysart Unified School District (USD) for increasing the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at 25 schools. Through the Department’s Better Buildings Challenge, Dysart USD has committed to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years, spanning more than three million square feet of building space. The district has already achieved 10 percent energy savings since 2011, and its Better Buildings Challenge showcase project, Kingswood Elementary School, has achieved 16 percent energy savings. Officials from the Energy Department and the school district toured the showcase project, now equipped with rooftop solar panels generating 469 kilowatts (kW) annually, and advanced chillers to cool the building.
As a part of the Administration's effort to support greater energy efficiency through the Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized the Denver Housing Authority and the cities of Denver and Arvada, Colorado today for its leadership in reducing energy use. Altogether, these organizations are cutting energy waste across 10 million square feet of commercial buildings, municipal facilities, and multifamily affordable housing facilities. Energy Department and city officials joined HUD Secretary Julián Castro on a tour of North Lincoln Homes before also viewing showcase projects in Denver and Arvada.
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.
As part of the Administration's effort to advance energy efficiency and combat the harmful effects of climate change, Better Buildings Challenge partners have cut energy waste by 94 TBTUS since President Obama first launched the challenge in 2011. The energy savings announced today have saved partners a total of $840 million dollars in energy costs and avoided 6 million tons of harmful carbon emissions, equivalent to cutting the emissions of 1 million cars. To continue this progress, the Energy Department is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include water savings goals and is also calling on existing partners to recruit one new partner and, in effect, double down on Better Buildings.
Today the Energy Department launched a new indoor lighting campaign to increase the use of high efficiency lighting technologies in commercial buildings. Through the Better Buildings Alliance, the Department is working with key stakeholders and end users in both the public and private sectors to install and demonstrate advanced technologies. Additionally, the Department recognized Advanced Roof-top Unit Campaign (ARC) partners and Green Lease Leaders for collaboration between building owners, landlords and tenants to improve energy efficiency
Today the Energy Department recognized San Antonio area partners for their leadership in advancing energy efficiency. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) and Macy’s have committed to reducing their energy use by 20 percent across their entire respective building portfolios by 2020. SAHA is committed to improving the efficiency of 1.5 million square feet of multifamily housing and Macy’s is committed to improving over 170 million square feet of commercial buildings nationwide. Today Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, U.S. Department of Energy, met with city officials and toured two Better Buildings Challenge showcase projects including SAHA’s Marie McGuire Lofts property boasting ten percent expected energy savings, and Macy’s Ingram Park Mall store with actual energy savings greater than 40%.
Today the Energy Department recognized the city of Fort Worth for its leadership in advancing energy efficiency. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Fort Worth has achieved eight percent energy savings across 19 million square feet of public and private sector buildings since 2009. The city is on-track to meet a ten year goal to improve energy use by 20 percent by 2020. Municipal facilities in the program alone will have achieved energy and water savings, totaling $65 million dollars over the next ten years.
The White House announced today that Salt Lake City, one of the Climate Action Champions, is spearheading solar development in Utah, including a 1 megawatt solar farm and a state-of-the art net-zero public safety building. The combined impact of these projects will reduce CO2 emissions Salt Lake City’s from municipal operations by three million pounds per year. To further decrease emissions, Salt Lake City also announced it will join the President’s Better Building Challenge today, committing to improve the energy efficiency of 1.6 million square feet of public and private buildings across the city over the next decade.
As part of the Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the Energy Department today recognized its Cleveland area partners for their leadership in saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Cleveland partners including the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cuyahoga Housing Authority and Forest City Enterprises are committed to reducing their energy use by 20 percent across their entire building portfolios over the next decade. By making energy efficiency upgrades to facilities across the city and demonstrating practices that can be replicated in the future, these partners are helping to save money and energy, while also making the city more sustainable for future generations.
Today, DOE announced the release of the Home Energy Score Simulation Training, a new online simulation tool that provides free, targeted training and testing to individuals interested in providing the Home Energy Score – a standard energy efficiency assessment and score generated only by qualifying professionals. The Home Energy Score Simulation Training (the Sim), developed by Interplay Learning, lets candidates walk through different virtual homes (colonial, ranch, and townhome) with numerous combinations of energy-related characteristics (e.g., heating, cooling, hot water equipment; wall construction; insulation levels; footprints).
With this enhanced training and testing available, the program will now recognize a wide range of credentials, including those held by home inspectors, HVAC contractors, and other professionals in building-related fields. The table below lists the minimum credentials now accepted by DOE.
Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department announced today that more than 20 new partners have committed to improving energy efficiency across their respective building portfolios by 20 percent over the next ten years. These new partners, including the 6 multifamily partners announced by the White House earlier today, bring with them fresh perspectives, representing over 50 million square feet of fast-food, restaurant, manufacturing, university, and government office space. As leaders in energy efficiency, partners will work with the Department to share their successful efficiency strategies and help pave the way for other organizations to follow.
The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized the City of Roanoke, VA for its leadership in energy efficiency. As a Partner in the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, the city is showcasing its commitment by the upgrades it has completed at the Berglund Center. This 390,000 square-foot entertainment and convention center is expected to achieve energy reductions of 30 percent, saving the city $180,000 annually. Cooling costs were reduced by 50 percent through the installation of a highly efficient cooling system, and the city also upgraded to high efficiency lighting throughout the facility and created innovative strategies such as controlling lighting by zones. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Roanoke is committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2020 across more than 25 buildings, covering 1 million square feet. Roanoke has already achieved a 16 percent reduction in overall energy consumption since 2009.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized the cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro, and Portland Public Schools (PPS), for their leadership in reducing energy use, and for showcasing their innovations and successful strategies for other state and local government leaders to follow. These Better Buildings Challenge Partners combined have committed to reduce the energy use of ten million square feet of building space, including libraries, schools and other public facilities, by 20 percent over the next decade. At the Beaverton City Library, where these Partners were recognized, the city expects annual savings greater than $20,000.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy today expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to include data centers. Data centers consumed about 100 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in the U.S last year and that number is expected to grow as more information is shared and stored online. Nineteen leading organizations have committed to either improve the energy efficiency of a portfolio of data centers by at least 20% within 10 years, or to improve the energy efficiency of a single data center of 100 kW or greater by at least 25% within 5 years. With the expansion, DOE is focused on improving efficiency of infrastructure (cooling, power supply losses) to complement the installation of emerging IT systems or technologies.
The White House announces that 28 new state, city, multifamily housing, retailer, commercial real estate, and manufacturing organizations are joining as Partners in the President’s Better Buildings Challenge. These organizations are committing to improving the energy efficiency of more than 400 million square feet of additional floor space, an area the size of more than 7,000 football fields, by at least 20 percent in the next decade.
The U.S. Department of Energy recognized the University of Utah for its leadership in energy efficiency and for reducing energy use by 40 percent in a historic campus building, saving the university $57,000 a year. Energy savings captured in the 42-year-old Dumke Health Professions Education Building is helping the university stay on track to meet its portfolio-wide energy reduction goal of 20 percent by 2020 across 13 million square feet of building space. The university will continue to fund efforts like this through its Energy Management Fund, which uses the savings from energy efficiency projects to continually reinvest in future projects.
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that Better Buildings Challenge Partners are on track to meet their energy performance goals in their second year, saving approximately $100 million a year. These Partners have also shared results from more than 70 showcase projects and 40 implementation models – describing their successful approaches to help others follow their lead. The Department also announced that 26 new Partners and 7 Financial Allies – including Wal-Mart, General Mills, City of San Diego, Jonathan Rose Companies, Hannon Armstrong, and Enterprise Community Partners – have committed to improving energy efficiency across more than 1 billion square feet of building space. The new Progress Update – Spring 2014 summarizes the significant energy efficiency progress being made by the market leaders who have taken the Better Buildings Challenge.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized Staples for its leadership in energy efficiency at one of its facilities near Dallas, Texas. As part of their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, Staples is conducting retrofits in facilities across the United States. At their showcase project, the Coppell Fulfillment Center, Staples deployed an “Eco-Treasure Hunt” program that identified ways to save energy in the 245,000 square foot warehouse building, which is fully air conditioned and operates 90 hours each week. Staples implemented a host of energy efficiency measures in its fulfillment centers, including the use of advanced lighting technologies such as LEDs in loading docks and large fans to keep employees comfortable and increase productivity.
The U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge. Los Angeles has pledged to reduce the energy intensity for 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20 percent by 2020. One of the city’s biggest energy efficiency wins is the historic Central Library, an icon in downtown Los Angeles since 1926. Through the Challenge, Los Angeles has retrofitted the library, including replacing an aging roof with a cool roof, updating the HVAC system and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs.
Through the Home Energy Scoring Tool, more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department's growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors. After more than a year of implementation and feedback from program partners, the Energy Department made significant improvements to the scoring tool's calculation methodology and user interface. To inspire greater investments in energy efficiency, the tool also provides more detailed and cost-effective recommendations to help consumers further improve their home's energy efficiency.
The updated tool is more sensitive to local climate—collecting data from more than 1,000 weather stations nationwide compared to the 250 stations used previously. The Energy Department, through LBNL, is working with third-party software companies to license the Home Energy Score application programming interface (API) to build apps and other online resources that exchange data with the tool.
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.
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.
The Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Milwaukee, Wis. for its leadership in energy efficiency. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Milwaukee has retrofitted the Milwaukee Central Library, including surveying and repairing dozens of steam traps in the basement to help cut energy waste and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs throughout the building. As a result of these upgrades, the Milwaukee Central Library is on track to save about $47,000 in energy costs per year.
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.
The Department of Energy, working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will partner with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste.
The Department of Energy is recognizing its Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies for the first year's progress, which shows they are on track to meet President Obama's goal to reduce by 20% the energy intensity in the commercial and industrial sectors by 2020. The recently released Progress Update – Spring 2013 summarizes the significant energy efficiency gains being made by the market leaders who have taken the Better Buildings Challenge.
The Department of Energy is touring Nissan’s Better Buildings Challenge showcase facility in Smyrna, TN to recognize the cost savings possible for manufacturing facilities that adopt energy efficiency measures and upgrades. Nissan’s Smyrna paint plant opened on Jan. 22, 2013 and is projected to cut energy use by almost a third compared to its predecessor.
These organizations are committing to reduce energy in more than 200 million square feet of commercial space combined.
More than 60 Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies met with Senior Administration and Department of Energy officials in Washington D.C. to discuss progress of the Better Buildings Initiative and share the broad array of implementation models and solutions offered by Better Buildings Challenge Partners in the program’s first year. Round table sessions also provided a forum for discussion and learning among business leaders on a wide range of cross market activities.
At the event, the Department of Energy released the 2012 Better Buildings Progress Report, which provides an update of the key strategies the Administration is using to overcome the barriers to energy efficiency, highlights the success of leading organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge, and shares the future plans for Better Buildings—providing a framework for meeting the goal of 20 percent savings by 2020.
President Obama announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings.
President Obama announced a Better Buildings Initiative to rehire construction workers to make buildings more energy-efficient; private companies were challenged to join as well. In June, at Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America, Obama announced a commitment to upgrade 300 million square feet of space, from military housing to college campuses. Some of these projects were breaking ground recently, putting people to work. Later this year, more commitments that will create jobs, while saving billions for businesses on energy bills and cutting down on our pollution, will be announced. It's all a good example of what CGI is all about: Everybody working together -- government, business, the non-for-profit sector -- to create opportunities today, while ensuring those opportunities for the future.
Job creation through energy efficiency is one of the key priorities of the Jobs Council. That's why the Council is focusing on taking critical steps on the Better Buildings Initiative, a program that can create jobs in both the short term and the long term. Building retrofitting through BBI can put construction workers and contractors to work now, and it can create manufacturing jobs in the near future as the production of energy-efficient products at US manufacturing facilities increases. Last month we were excited to announce the first round of partners committing to the Better Buildings Challenge, a key part of the Better Buildings Initiative. It was fitting that today’s meeting was in Los Angeles which was one of the first three municipal partners, along with Atlanta and Seattle, to join the Challenge and commit to enroll buildings, facilities and financing. The Better Buildings Initiative is just one idea of many on which the Jobs Council is working to catalyze actions by the private and public sectors to create jobs and strengthen US competitiveness.
Secretary Chu announced the first 14 partners to join the Better Buildings Challenge while at the Clinton Global Initiative America Conference in Chicago. These companies, cities and financial institutions have committed making their facilities more efficient – a move with the added benefit of saving them money on their utility bills each month. The Better Buildings Initiative aims to save companies about $40 billion a year. A recent report also found the initiative could create 114,000 clean energy jobs! In total, these Better Buildings partners will make more than 300 million square feet of building space more efficient.
Among the partners announced today:
- Portfolio Partners: Lend Lease, a fully integrated property solutions provider, committed to a 20 percent energy-reduction by 2020 through the Military Housing Privatization Initiative portfolio. Representing about 40,000 homes, offices and community centers, it will improve 65.3 million square feet.
- Financial Allies: Citi agreed to continue offering financial solutions for property energy efficiency projects totaling at least $250 million over the next 18 months. Existing and planned structures target both public and private sector clients and range in size with a minimum $50 million for each transaction.
- Community Partners: The City of Los Angeles set a minimum goal of 20 percent savings by 2020 through the LA Commercial Building Performance Partnership. The partnership will provide energy audits and creative financing solutions to support commercial property owners in energy upgrades. They expect 22 million square feet of commercial building space to be audited through the program.
The bottom line is simple. Like the Secretary says, saving energy saves money. It’s the right thing to do for our economy, our security and our environment.
President Obama is proposing new efforts to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country. The “Better Buildings Initiative,” outlined today at Penn State University, will achieve a 20 percent improvement over the next decade, saving companies and business owners tens of billions of dollars a year. The plan will spur innovation by reforming tax and other incentives to retrofit, creating a new competitive grant program for states and localities that streamline their regulations to attract retrofit investment, and challenging the private sector to invest in building upgrades through a new “Better Buildings Challenge.”
Vice President Biden joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today to announce the launch of the Home Energy Score pilot program. The Home Energy Score will offer homeowners straightforward, reliable information about their homes' energy efficiency. A report provides consumers with a home energy score between 1 and 10, and shows them how their home compares to others in their region. The report also includes customized, cost-effective recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.
"The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report's recommendations into action - giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades." said Vice President Biden. "Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy."