Better Buildings Challenge Partners Exceed $1.3 Billion in Energy Cost Savings
Better Buildings is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designed to improve the lives of the American people by driving leadership in energy innovation. Through Better Buildings, DOE works 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.
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. This has resulted 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 sq. ft. and $5.5 billion dollars in energy efficiency investment. The latest reports show partners are decreasing energy use on average by more than two percent each year.
“Thanks to a dedicated drive to actively create and share the best energy efficiency solutions, Better Buildings partners have dramatically cut their energy waste and saved more than a billion dollars since the Better Buildings initiative was launched five years ago,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “As the initiative continues to grow, we are moving the nation forward by reducing energy costs and carbon emissions through energy efficiency.”
“Housing can play a vital role in addressing the realities of climate change,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “The Better Buildings Challenge makes sense for our environment and for the pocketbooks of hardworking American families. I’d like to thank all of our partners for helping to lead our nation’s 21st century clean energy revolution.”
Over 60 new partners have joined the Better Buildings Challenge this year. A full list of all new partners can be found in the 2016 Better Buildings Progress Update. Thirty-five partners have achieved their Challenge energy or water savings goals, all ahead of schedule. These partners accomplished their energy, water and financing goals through a combination of innovative solutions and proven strategies, which are openly exchanged through the Better Buildings Solution Center website. The online tool now hosts more than 400 solutions including 100 implementation models, 150 showcase projects, and hundreds of supporting case studies, fact sheets,presentations, and webinars. According to the DOE the solutions partners are essential for demonstrating how advanced technologies, organizational strategies and partnerships with financiers and utilities are moving energy efficiency work forward across diverse market sectors.
In this spirit of openly sharing and exchanging solutions, the initiative also announced it is currently exploring a season two of DOE’s first reality-style web series, the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. The first season debuted this spring and resulted in hundreds of thousands of views by energy professionals. The feature content highlighted two partners, Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market, who swapped energy teams and buildings, and in doing so, pushed their energy efficiency actions even further.
To complement Better Buildings Challenge partners who are working on broad, portfolio-wide strategies, organizations engaging in Better Buildings Accelerators are part of unique collaborative networks designed to advance specific innovative policies and approaches as a way to accelerate investment in energy efficiency. DOE is reporting that the Energy Data Accelerator is the first of 10 programs to successfully complete its mission, and is launching three new accelerator programs focused on creating sustainable paths for local communities to improve resiliency with combined heat and power, lower energy costs in low income communities, and upgrade wastewater infrastructure, all to create a more secure energy for residents and businesses.
Local and national partners in the Better Buildings Clean Energy in Low Income Communities Accelerator will work to deploy clean energy in low income communities through expanded installation of energy efficiency and distributed renewables and lower utilitybills for residents.
Cities and utilities in the Better Buildings Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator will work to support and expand the consideration of combined heat and power technologies for improved efficiency and enhanced resiliency.
State, regional and local agencies partnering in the Better Buildings Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator will improve the energy efficiency of their participating water resource recovery facilities by at least 30 percent and integrate at least one resource recovery measure.
Through Better Buildings, DOE aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving hundreds of billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating thousands of jobs. Better Buildings partners represent public and private sector organizations across the country that are working together with the DOE to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.
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