Industry and government officials discuss the Better Buildings Challenge expansion at the White House earlier this week. | Photo courtesy of Department of Housing and Urban Development
With more than 120 participants, the Energy Department’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge is making America more sustainable by transforming how organizations improve energy performance at facilities throughout the country all while saving money and creating jobs. Participating organizations are already demonstrating that building energy efficiency improvements could lead to more than 2.5% in savings per year.
Through the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE is continuing to tackle the nation’s energy challenges with two new major energy efficiency efforts. These DOE efforts, highlighted below, are fundamental to upgrading the energy performance of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings throughout the nation.
Better Buildings Expands to Include Multifamily Residential Housing
The Better Buildings Challenge represents a diverse set of organizations that are committed to energy efficiency including 3M, Alcoa, the Cleveland Clinic, Ford, Macy’s, Starbucks, Transwestern, the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Seattle and others
The President’s Climate Action Plan, announced in June, called for the expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily residential housing. DOE and the Department of Housing and Urban Development worked together on this expansion, which enables the private sector, affordable building owners and public housing agencies to showcase how energy efficiency improvements drive energy and cost savings for tenants and building owners.
Fifty organizations - representing roughly 200,000 units and over 190 million square feet – have already committed to the Better Buildings Challenge and agreed to cut their energy use by 20% in ten years. If all multifamily housing units in the U.S. achieve this goal, more than $7 billion per year could be saved, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. Housing authorities and building owners announcing their commitments to the Better Buildings Challenge include:
- Columbia Residential
- Denver Housing Authority
- LINC Housing Corporation
- Mercy Housing
- NHT/Enterprise Preservation Corporation
- Philadelphia Housing Authority
- The Tower Companies
DOE Launches Three New Better Buildings Accelerators
The new Better Buildings Accelerators are convening utilities, state and local government, and manufacturers to improve building energy efficiency by addressing whole building energy data access, utilizing industrial superior energy performance, or conducting performance contracting. More than 60 organizations and local governments are supporting the launch of the Better Buildings Accelerators. These include:
- Energy Efficiency Vermont
- Bonneville Power Administration
- The City of Fort Worth, Texas
- The City of Cincinnati, Ohio
Better Buildings takes a broad multi-strategy approach to accelerate energy savings through leadership, innovation, partnerships and demonstrated best practices. For more on how Better Buildings is transforming America’s clean energy economy, visit energy.gov/betterbuildings.