Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department’s Interior Lighting Campaign nets $13.5 million in energy savings in first year; Green Lease Leaders add 1 billion square feet of commercial building space

June 27, 2016

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Better Buildings technology and market campaigns show-off indoor lighting technology upgrades; and green leasing best practices.

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 marketplace is seeing a rapid adoption of highly-efficient indoor lighting and green leasing practices, as the price of cutting edge technologies and the risk of creative market approaches continue to decline,” said Kathleen Hogan, DOE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “This is exemplified by the increasing number of organizations partnering with DOE to adopt the next technology or novel market strategy – and through this, showing the will to push the limits and benefits of energy efficiency in commercial buildings.”

In the first year, the ILC quickly exceeded an initial goal of replacing 100,000 indoor lighting troffers, which are recessed ceiling lighting fixtures that commonly use lower efficiency fluorescent technology. Participants are now working toward a goal of 1 million and have already upgraded 650,000 troffers for a total national energy savings of 1.3 trillion BTUs or the equivalent of $13.5 million in energy savings. With support from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), there are now close to 50 participants, including CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Target, and T-Mobile, and 110 industry supporters. A full list of recognized organizations and 2016 ILC results-to-date are available here.

A joint effort by the Better Buildings Alliance and the Institute for Market Transformation, the Green Lease Leaders program, exemplifies how landlord-tenant cooperation on energy efficiency is no longer a niche practice. Green leases break down the barriers of traditional commercial leases, offering environmental and economic benefits for owners, and tenants alike. This year’s Green Lease Leaders achievements represent more than 375 million square feet of commercial floor space across the U.S. A full list of these leading organizations is available here.

On average, 20 percent of the energy U.S. buildings consume nationwide is by lighting. This represents a large opportunity for building owners and managers to cut energy waste and save money. It is estimated building owners or managers can save up to 60 percent in energy costs when replacing less efficient troffers with new ones, and up to 75 percent of lighting energy by adding controls such as dimmers, timers, and occupancy sensors. Regarding green leasing, savings can be as much as 22 percent, representing a $3 billion opportunity in annual cost savings across the U.S.

Through Better Buildings, DOE aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. This will help save billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. The Better Buildings Alliance, through its various technology and market solutions teams and campaigns creates a peer-to-peer network, bringing together hundreds of public and private sector organizations, representing over 11 billion square feet of commercial real estate. In collaboration with DOE, these organizations share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency and propel change and investment in energy efficiency.

For more information about the Interior Lighting Campaign or the Green Lease Leaders program, please visit the Better Buildings Alliance page.

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