Better Buildings Challenge Partners Save $100 Million in Initiative’s Second Year

Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Administration’s Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department has 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.

The department also announced that 26 new partners and seven 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. These partners have shared results from more than 70 showcase projects and 40 implementation models, describing their successful approaches to help others follow their lead.

“Better Buildings Challenge partners exemplify leadership in energy efficiency by creating innovative strategies to save energy, water and money across a range of industries,” says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Whether it’s investing in new technology or implementing rewards programs with employees, Better Buildings partners are not only creating cutting edge approaches to energy efficiency but they are also sharing their successes with the marketplace.”

This year, several partners including the University of California at Irvine, Best Buy, Legrand and Cummins not only hit their energy-saving goals but also pledged to continue to increase their energy efficiency and four financial allies have surpassed their original financing commitment, including AFL-CIO, Citi, Energi and Green Campus Partners.

In February 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge to make commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next 10 years and accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency. Now, more than 190 companies, universities, school districts, multifamily housing organizations and state and local governments are cutting energy waste, improving their bottom lines and sharing best practices across the U.S. building sector.

Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners are deploying energy-efficiency projects at more than 9,000 facilities. Of these, more than 2,100 buildings have improved energy efficiency by at least 20 percent, while another 4,500 have improved energy efficiency by at least 10 percent, compared to their baseline years. Better Buildings Challenge financial allies have also extended more than $1.7 billion in private financing for building efficiency improvements reaching 97 percent of their collective goal.

For example, Metrus Energy and Energi worked together to finance $5.8 million in energy upgrades at Kuakini Medical Center in Honolulu, including installing a new central heating and cooling plant, deploying energy management and control systems and upgrading lighting. The project is expected to save about 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than $1 million in energy costs each year. In Beaufort, S.C., Lend Lease has strengthened building envelopes and retrofitted duct systems at the Laurel Bay Marine Corps housing community–cutting energy needs by 40 percent.

Additionally, 20 Better Buildings Challenge partners are participating in a new Water Savings Pilot. This expansion of the Challenge will allow Partners to share water performance data, to track progress toward a water goal, and to cut energy wasted from the inefficient use of water.

The announcements made today are part of an Administration-wide effort to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. View a detailed progress report about the Better Buildings Challenge and find out more about partners and their energy-efficiency projects.

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