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Better Buildings Challenge Saves $840 Million in Energy Costs, Adds New Water Savings Goal

May 27, 2015 - 10:08am


Partners Continue to Lead in Efficiency, Reach New Levels of Energy Savings

WASHINGTON – As part of the Administration’s effort to advance energy efficiency and combat the harmful effects of climate change, Better Buildings Challenge partners have cut energy waste by 94 TBTUs since President Obama first launched the challenge in 2011. The energy savings announced today have saved partners a total of $840 million dollars in energy costs and avoided 6 million tons of harmful carbon emissions, equivalent to cutting the emissions of 1 million cars. To continue this progress, the Energy Department is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include water savings goals and Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese today called on existing partners to recruit one new partner to join the program and set a goal of reducing energy use across their respective building portfolios by at least 20 percent in the next 10 years, effectively doubling down on Better Buildings.

“As the Better Buildings Initiative enters its fourth year, leaders continue to showcase how saving energy saves money, creates jobs, and most importantly accelerates the nation’s competitiveness in the clean energy economy while preserving our environment for generations to come,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The Better Buildings Challenge now has more than 250 partners representing 3.5 billion square feet, 650 manufacturing plants, 50 cities and states, and $5.5 billion in financing investments. In the past year, nine partners have already met their energy savings goals years ahead of the target, including 3M; the City of Beaverton, Oregon; Camas School District; HARBEC; Lend Lease; the State of Maryland; Sprint; Volvo; and the City of West Palm Beach, Florida. Two financial allies including Enterprise and Hannon Armstrong also met their goals.

New Partners Join the Better Buildings Challenge

Since January 2015, 18 new partners have joined the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to reduce their portfolio-wide energy use by at least 20 percent in the next 10 years, and to sharing successful, cost-effective strategies to maximize building efficiency. The new partner commitments announced today span 20 million square feet:

  • Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, NM, committed 15 million sq.ft.
  • Avon Park Housing Authority, Avon Park, FL, committed 18,000 sq. ft.
  • Bentley Mills, City Industry, CA, committed 1 plant.
  • BioStar Renewables joins as a financial ally.
  • Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, Warrington, PA, committed 4 wastewater treatment plants and 4 pumping stations.
  • Evergreen Public Schools, Vancouver, WA, committed 3 million sq. ft.
  • Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA, committed 24 data centers and 218,000 sq. ft.
  • Lennox International, Richardson, TX, committed 280 facilities.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles, CA, committed 38 water treatment plants and 80 pumping stations.
  • Manhattan Housing Authority, Manhattan, KS, committed 202,000 sq. ft.
  • Salt Lake City, UT, committed 1,600,000 sq. ft.
  • Sparkfund joins as a financial ally.
  • Suncoast Credit Union, Tampa, FL, committed 430,000 sq. ft.
  • TE Connectivity, Berwyn, PA, committed 58 plants.
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., committed 1 data center and 2,416,000 sq. ft.
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing NA, Inc., Plano, TX, committed 10 plants.
  • Urban Ingenuity joins as a financial ally.
  • Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, Victorville, CA, committed 1 wastewater treatment plant.

Better Buildings Challenge to Include New Focus on Water Savings

Based on progress made working with its pilot partners in 2014, the Energy Department is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include a new water savings goal. Interested partners can work directly with the Energy Department to advance data collection and analysis practices and share more solutions to common water saving barriers. The Energy Department will coordinate with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as work with experts from non-governmental organizations, to lend additional technical expertise.

As a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties. Read more about Better Buildings Challenge partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others in the 2015 Progress Report.