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News & Announcements
Recent Program News
September 18, 2014
The White House announces that 28 new state, city, multifamily housing, retailer, commercial real estate, and manufacturing organizations are joining as Partners in the President’s Better Buildings Challenge. These organizations are committing to improving the energy efficiency of more than 400 million square feet of additional floor space, an area the size of more than 7,000 football fields, by at least 20 percent in the next decade.
September 4, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy recognized the University of Utah for its leadership in energy efficiency and for reducing energy use by 40 percent in a historic campus building, saving the university $57,000 a year. Energy savings captured in the 42-year-old Dumke Health Professions Education Building is helping the university stay on track to meet its portfolio-wide energy reduction goal of 20 percent by 2020 across 13 million square feet of building space. The university will continue to fund efforts like this through its Energy Management Fund, which uses the savings from energy efficiency projects to continually reinvest in future projects.
June 20, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy recognized Atlanta for its progress and leadership in meeting a citywide goal to improve the energy performance of its buildings by 20% by 2020. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Atlanta is engaging local business leaders, building owners and operators and other organizations to increase energy and water efficiency across more than 50 million square feet of building space, achieving over 9% energy savings since 2011. As the city makes improvements across its building portfolio including offices, hospitals, and sports arenas, it is sharing these achievements more broadly with others and fostering competition and collaboration among businesses and organizations looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to make energy efficiency improvements of their own.
May 9, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that Better Buildings Challenge Partners are on track to meet their energy performance goals in their second year, saving approximately $100 million a year. These Partners have also shared results from more than 70 showcase projects and 40 implementation models – describing their successful approaches to help others follow their lead. The Department also announced that 26 new Partners and 7 Financial Allies – including Wal-Mart, General Mills, City of San Diego, Jonathan Rose Companies, Hannon Armstrong, and Enterprise Community Partners – have committed to improving energy efficiency across more than 1 billion square feet of building space. The new Progress Update – Spring 2014 summarizes the significant energy efficiency progress being made by the market leaders who have taken the Better Buildings Challenge.
- U.S. Department of Energy Press Release
- Progress Update - Spring 2014
- President Obama Speaks on American Energy
- White House Fact Sheet
- Clean Technica article: Are You Up For America’s Better Buildings Challenge?
- MarketWatch article: Sprint Recognized by DOE for Energy Reduction
- USA Today article: "Obama push keeps energy efficiency moving"
- Buildings article: Better Buildings Challenge Grows to 1 Billion Square Feet
- Sustainablog article: The Better Buildings Challenge: Harnessing Competition to Save Energy [Infographic]
- CSRwire article: MGM Resorts International Joins U.S. Energy Department's Better Buildings Challenge
- Digital Journal article: Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships on Track to Achieve 20 percent Energy Savings through the Better Buildings Challenge
- Essential Retail article: Walmart invests in energy innovation
- 3BL Media article: Citi Recognized by U.S. Department of Energy for Surpassing Goal of $500 Million in Financing for Energy Efficiency and Distributed Generation, Increases Financing Target to $2.25 Billion
- 3BL Media article: Hilton Worldwide Joins U.S. Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge
- MSU Today article: MSU zeroing in on energy-reduction goals
- Huffington Post article: President Obama Doubles Down on Better Buildings
- Los Angeles Times article: President Obama, in California stop, makes push for energy efficiency
- Green Biz article: Obama's new executive actions on energy
- Bloomberg article: Obama makes Walmart an example to push energy efficiency
March 13, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized Staples for its leadership in energy efficiency at one of its facilities near Dallas, Texas. As part of their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, Staples is conducting retrofits in facilities across the United States. At their showcase project, the Coppell Fulfillment Center, Staples deployed an “Eco-Treasure Hunt” program that identified ways to save energy in the 245,000 square foot warehouse building, which is fully air conditioned and operates 90 hours each week. Staples implemented a host of energy efficiency measures in its fulfillment centers, including the use of advanced lighting technologies such as LEDs in loading docks and large fans to keep employees comfortable and increase productivity.
January 29, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge. Los Angeles has pledged to reduce the energy intensity for 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20 percent by 2020. One of the city’s biggest energy efficiency wins is the historic Central Library, an icon in downtown Los Angeles since 1926. Through the Challenge, Los Angeles has retrofitted the library, including replacing an aging roof with a cool roof, updating the HVAC system and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs.
December 3, 2013
The U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development today expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to multifamily housing and launched the Better Buildings Accelerators to support state- and local government-led efforts to cut energy waste and eliminate market and technical barriers to greater building efficiency. Fifty multifamily housing leaders from across the United States have committed through the Better Buildings Challenge to cut their energy use by 20 percent in ten years. The Department of Energy also introduced three new Better Buildings Accelerators to bring together state and local governments, utilities, and manufacturers to develop cost-effective, creative solutions for building energy efficiency.
- U.S. Department of Energy Press Release
- Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Residential Housing Partners
- Better Buildings Accelerator Partners
- Department of Energy Blog
- Institute for Market Transformation Blog Post
November 22, 2013
Through the Better Plants Challenge, Alcoa has demonstrated leadership by setting an ambitious goal to reduce the energy intensity of 29 of its plants by 25 percent by 2020 and sharing strategies and best practices to help other U.S. companies improve their energy efficiency. U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Danielson joined officials from Alcoa to tour the company’s Cleveland facility and its recent energy efficiency improvements. In addition, Alcoa and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal are co-hosting an energy efficiency training program at their Cleveland plants this week for staff at both companies. Sponsored by the Department of Energy, this hands-on technical training will further help plant staff identify new opportunities that reduce energy use and save money.
November 6, 2013
The Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Milwaukee, Wis. for its leadership in energy efficiency. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Milwaukee has retrofitted the Milwaukee Central Library, including surveying and repairing dozens of steam traps in the basement to help cut energy waste and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs throughout the building. As a result of these upgrades, the Milwaukee Central Library is on track to save about $47,000 in energy costs per year.
- U.S. Department of Energy Press Release
- Central Library Showcase Project
- Sample Media Coverage: CBS Milwaukee Local News Report, Urban Milwaukee News Article, The Business Journal News Article
September 25, 2013
Better Plants Partners are being recognized at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C. and praised for their energy efficiency efforts. Accomplishments across the Better Plants Program are summarized in the Department of Energy's Better Plants Progress Update - Fall 2013. Additionally, 13 companies have stepped up to the Better Plants Challenge, which is the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge.
June 25, 2013
President Obama's Climate Action Plan announces an expansion to the Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing. The Department of Energy, working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will partner with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste.
May 22, 2013
The Department of Energy is recognizing its Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies for the first year's progress, which shows they are on track to meet President Obama's goal to reduce by 20% the energy intensity in the commercial and industrial sectors by 2020. The recently released Progress Update – Spring 2013 summarizes the significant energy efficiency gains being made by the market leaders who have taken the Better Buildings Challenge.
April 17, 2013
The Department of Energy is touring Nissan’s Better Buildings Challenge showcase facility in Smyrna, TN to recognize the cost savings possible for manufacturing facilities that adopt energy efficiency measures and upgrades. Nissan’s Smyrna paint plant opened on Jan. 22, 2013 and is projected to cut energy use by almost a third compared to its predecessor.
February 21, 2013
Johnson Controls, Macy’s, and Sprint are the latest Partners to join the Better Buildings Challenge. These organizations are committing to reduce energy in more than 200 million square feet of commercial space combined.
December 6, 2012
More than 60 Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies met with Senior Administration and Department of Energy officials in Washington D.C. to discuss progress of the Better Buildings Initiative and share the broad array of implementation models and solutions offered by Better Buildings Challenge Partners in the program’s first year. Round table sessions also provided a forum for discussion and learning among business leaders on a wide range of cross market activities.
At the event, the Department of Energy released the 2012 Better Buildings Progress Report, which provides an update of the key strategies the Administration is using to overcome the barriers to energy efficiency, highlights the success of leading organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge, and shares the future plans for Better Buildings—providing a framework for meeting the goal of 20 percent savings by 2020.
May 25, 2012
City, Atlanta Gas Light Mark Achievements of Civic Center as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.
May 16, 2012
Legrand Achieves Over 20 Percent Energy-Intensity Reduction in Presidential Challenge.
December 2, 2011
We Can't Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings and launches the Better Buildings Challenge.
September 21, 2011
President Obama discusses Better Buildings Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
July 24, 2011
Mayors Discuss Creating Jobs with the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
June 30, 2011
Obama Administration Announces 14 Initial Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge
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