Jun 02, 2015

Better Buildings Challenge Adds New Water Savings Goal

The challenge has saved $840 million in energy costs

Better Buildings Challenge Department of Energy water savings

As part of the Obama 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 here 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 U.S. Deparment of Energy is expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include water savings goals, and Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese 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% in the next 10 years.

“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.

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.

Since January 2015, 18 new partners have joined the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to reducing their portfolio-wide energy use by at least 20% 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 sq ft:

  • Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, N.M., committed 15 million sq ft;
  • Avon Park Housing Authority, Avon Park, Fla., committed 18,000 sq ft;
  • Bentley Mills, City of Industry, Calif., committed one plant;
  • BioStar Renewables joined as a financial ally;
  • Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, Warrington, Pa., committed four wastewater treatment plants and four pumping stations;
  • Evergreen Public Schools, Vancouver, Wash., committed 3 million sq ft;
  • Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., committed 24 data centers and 218,000 sq ft;
  • Lennox Intl., Richardson, Texas, committed 280 facilities;
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power committed 38 water treatment plants and 80 pumping stations;
  • Manhattan (Kan.) Housing Authority, committed 202,000 sq ft;
  • Salt Lake City committed 1.6 million sq ft;
  • Sparkfund joined as a financial ally;
  • Suncoast Credit Union, Tampa, Fla., committed 430,000 sq ft;
  • TE Connectivity, Berwyn, Pa., committed 58 plants;
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. committed one data center and 2,416,000 sq ft;
  • Toyota Motor Eng. & Mfg. NA Inc., Plano, Texas, committed 10 plants;
  • Urban Ingenuity joined as a financial ally; and
  • Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, Victorville, Calif., committed one wastewater treatment plant.

The Better Buildings Challenge now has more than 250 partners representing 3.5 billion sq ft, 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. Two financial allies also met their goals.