Thursday, May 28, 2015

U.S.Energy Department Update: Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign & Better Buildings Challenge Saves $840 Million in Energy Costs; Adds New Water Savings Goal

Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign

The United States Department of Energy has 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.

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.

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 - A BOMA San Francisco Leader!
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.

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

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 recently 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.

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.

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.

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