Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Championship Rematch: Latest Better Buildings SWAP Showcases Atlanta vs. Boston

April 20, 2017

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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.

Through the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, DOE is helping public sector organizations and private sector businesses successfully explore and share new ways to reduce their energy use. The webisodes are an engaging, behind the scenes look at leaders in action and demonstrate the value of sharing ideas and best practices.

"A big thank you to Atlanta and Boston for taking this unique, city-focused Better Buildings challenge," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan. "Seeing these energy leaders in action helps improve the buildings in which we work and live and saves taxpayer dollars."

For example, after touring Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the Boston team suggested ways for Atlanta to improve its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) efficiency. The Atlanta team showed Boston how it improved the energy performance of a building operated by the city's Department of Watershed Management by implementing a new pump system in its water treatment plant that cut energy use by 40%.

"The City of Atlanta was honored to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP program to share energy conservation solutions with the City of Boston, as well as learn new innovative approaches from its sustainability programs. For three consecutive years, the City of Atlanta has led the nation in total commercial property committed to energy and water efficiency through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge," said Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta. "Mayors across the United States have been committed to sharing solution-oriented initiatives with peer cities to solve local challenges for decades. SWAP is a prime example of what happens when cities not only compete but collaborate to make a difference."

One new Better Buildings Challenge SWAP video showcases an innovative approach to energy efficiency at Boston Public Library's Central Library in Copley Square. The recently renovated historic landmark features a new building energy management system that increases control of its HVAC and lighting, allowing the library's facilities staff to control when and how they use energy throughout the day. In addition to the Central Library, the Atlanta team toured a maintenance facility with rooftop solar and walked along residential streets with new LED lighting.

"Boston is grateful to be a part of this season of the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP to share what we know about energy efficiency and learn from our peers," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City of Boston. "Cities play an important role in leading by example, as seen in our Climate Action Plan. As the most energy efficient city in the country, Boston understands how critical it is to reduce energy use citywide. I'm proud of Boston Public Library and our Department of Public Works for leading the way."

The Better Buildings Challenge SWAP launched in 2016 featuring Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market, followed by the U.S. Air Force Academy facing off with the U.S. Naval Academy. To date, the webisodes have been viewed over 44 million times and in every state across the nation. To view the full Better Buildings Challenge SWAP web series and recommendations from this season or to learn more about the department's role in advancing energy efficiency in U.S. buildings, visit the Better Buildings Initiative.