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Energy Department Launches Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign for Commercial Buildings

May 27, 2015 - 7:30am


Today the Energy Department launched a new indoor lighting campaign to increase the use of high efficiency lighting technologies in commercial buildings. Through the Better Buildings Alliance, the Department is working with key stakeholders and end users in both the public and private sectors to install and demonstrate advanced technologies. Additionally, the Department recognized Advanced Roof-top Unit Campaign (ARC) partners and Green Lease Leaders for collaboration between building owners, landlords, and tenants to improve energy efficiency.

"Through the Better Buildings Alliance, building owners are finding novel and exciting ways to save energy all across their portfolios," said Dr. Dave Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "By deploying cost effective technologies available in the marketplace today, we're seeing building owners and tenants realize major business and environmental benefits resulting in substantial energy savings."

Currently, interior lighting accounts for 20% of U.S. commercial buildings energy use. More energy efficient troffer lighting offers savings of 25% (57 kilowatt-hours) or $6 over a typical T8 troffer used today. The Better Building Alliance's Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) will support building owners as they commit to upgrade current fluorescent lights. The goal for the first year is for partners to install 100,000 high efficiency troffers and share their success and learning with others. Upgrading 100,000 fixtures can reduce energy use by 5 million kWh, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 metric tons of carbon, and save $500,000 in electricity bills annually.

Similar to ILC, the Advanced Roof-top Unit Campaign (ARC) is part of a suite of efforts designed to accelerate the adoption of new technologies. Today, the Energy Department announced ARC results of building owners that are replacing or retrofitting the aging heating and cooling technologies installed on roofs of many of U.S. commercial buildings. Since 2013, ARC has spurred over 190 public and private sector organizations to replace or retrofit 40,000 high-efficiency commercial building roof-top units, saving 4 trillion BTUs of energy or $37 million dollars.

The following organizations were recognized for achieving significant energy savings by replacing or retrofitting RTUs:

  • adidas for its innovative RTU management approach and updates to the equipment replacement strategy from replace-upon-failure to proactive replacement;
  • Target gained the largest efficiency improvement from a single building RTU replacement project, as well as the largest efficiency gain for a multi-building RTU replacement project;
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. General Services Administration, Pizzagalli Properties, and Elman Investors installed 66 RTUs, the most installed on one building;
  • U.S. Navy, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam retrofitted 30 RTUs with advanced controls, resulting in over 100 kWh of energy savings;
  • Walmart Stores Inc. completed over 10,000 high-efficiency RTU installations in new and existing stores; and
  • Whole Foods Market retrofitted 107 RTUs with advanced controls, resulting in an estimated 836,535 kWh of energy savings.

In 2013, the Better Buildings Alliance deployed the Green Lease Leaders program. On average, about 10-20% can be saved each month on a building's energy and water bills with a green lease. This year, Green Lease Leaders signed leases representing 415 million square feet, with the culminated square footage totaling 800 million square feet.

The following organizations were recognized as Green Lease Leaders for their leadership as landlords, tenants, and brokers. More information on winners is available here.


  • Bentall Kennedy
  • Boston Properties
  • Cadillac Fairview
  • Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management*
  • Forest City Enterprises*
  • NEO Realty Group
  • Shorenstein Properties*
  • Weingarten Realty Investors


  • TD Bank
  • Capital One


  • Laurie McMahon, DTZ
  • Sally Wilson, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
  • Greta Garner, Green Coast Realty
  • Meade Boutwell, CBRE
  • Randolph (Randy) Harrell, CBRE
  • Brant Smith, NEO Realty Group

* These noted organizations are also committed to achieving a 20% energy savings goal in ten years through the Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge.

As a cornerstone of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, Better Buildings aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency and catalyze change and investment in energy efficiency. Read more about Better Buildings partner results, and the innovative solutions being shared with others in the Better Buildings Solution Center.