the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: Cities, Utilities, and Businesses Commit to Unlocking Access to Energy Data for Building Owners and Improving Energy Efficiency

Local Government, private sector, and utility actions spur access to energy data and accelerate energy efficiency investment & innovation in buildings and homes

Making businesses and homes more energy efficient is a win for jobs and economic growth, operating costs and bottom lines, and the President’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. That is why, today, as part of the President’s Better Buildings Program, the Administration is announcing:

  • 18 utilities, serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers, will provide access to energy data building owners by 2017, the first step to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings;
  • 30 cities and states and 21 organizations from across the country are committing to take new actions to make it easier to identify ways to cut energy waste by making energy data available to building owners,
  • 24 cities, states, and businesses are committing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings 20 percent by 2020; and
  • Seven cities and states from across the country are committing to install more efficient outdoor lighting. 

The actions announced today build on commitments made by 285 organizations representing nearly 4 billion square feet since the Administration launched the President’s Better Building program in 2011.  The program’s mission is to partner with the Energy Department to improve energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020, and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency deployment over the next decade. These new commitments from cities, school districts, and businesses like Nike and Wendy’s will help cut waste in our buildings, saving energy and money and reducing pollution.

Today's commitments complement the Supreme Court's decision earlier this week on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's authority to enable consumers to get paid for cutting energy demand when prices are high.  This decision allows us to continue realizing billions of dollars in annual savings from demand response measures that help ensure the reliability of our electricity system as we integrate more energy efficiency and renewable energy onto the power grid.

PROVIDING ENERGY DATA SOLUTIONS

Unlocking Utility Energy Data: Through the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator (EDA), 18 utilities, serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers and working within their communities, are announcing they will provide whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017 – significantly expanding building energy benchmarking, the first step many building owners take to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.

“Better Buildings Accelerator partners demonstrate how powerful a public-private partnership dedicated to solving a specific problem can be,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “Bringing energy efficiency to scale is a national priority. We applaud the dedication of our partners to come up with innovative solutions that advance our nation’s ability to reduce carbon emissions, and spur economic savings in our businesses and communities.”

The city-utility partnerships have been successful in overcoming informational barriers to energy efficiency through the development of best-practice approaches that enable building owners to access whole-building energy data as part of the Energy Data Accelerator. The partners are:

  • City of Austin, TX – Austin Energy
  • City of Boston, MA – Eversource
  • City of Cambridge, MA – Eversource
  • City of Chicago, IL – Commonwealth Edison
  • City of Chula Vista, CA – San Diego Gas & Electric
  • City of Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Power and Light
  • City of Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • City of Los Angeles, CA – Southern California Gas
  • City of Orlando, FL – Orlando Utilities Commission
  • City of Minneapolis, MN – Xcel Energy
  • City of New York, NY – National Grid
  • City of Philadelphia, PA – PECO Energy Company
  • Salt Lake City, UT – Questar
  • Salt Lake City, UT– Rocky Mountain Power
  • City of San Diego, CA – San Diego Gas & Electric
  • City of San Francisco, CA – Pacific Gas & Electric
  • City of Santa Monica, CA – Southern California Edison
  • City of Seattle, WA – Puget Sound Energy
  • District of Columbia – PEPCO

Providing Technical Assistance to Streamline Energy Data: Today, DOE is announcing they will be providing technical assistance to 12 cities and states with support from key organizations in order to streamline and systematize the use of complex building data. These three-year partnerships – as part of the SEED Collaborative – will be deployed with the support of key allies:

  • City of Atlanta, GA
  • City of Berkeley, CA
  • City of Cambridge, MA
  • City of Houston, TX
  • City of Kansas City, MO
  • City of New York, NY
  • City of Orlando, FL
  • City of Philadelphia, PA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • California Energy Commission
  • District of Columbia
  • Montgomery County, Maryland

Making It Easier to Identify Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency: 21 organizations from diverse sectors including commercial real estate, global infrastructure, energy services, government, and design and engineering are committed to use DOE’s Asset Score tool to identify opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of a building’s structure and energy-related system and work with DOE on case studies to highlight best practices and lessons learned. Already, Asset Score is being used on 825 commercial and multifamily residential buildings totaling more than 80 million square feet. The following organizations are making a commitment today:

  • AECOM
  • Arup
  • Association of Energy Engineers
  • CH2M Hill
  • City of Milwaukee, WI
  • DNV GL
  • FS Energy
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • JBG Companies
  • Liberty Property Trust
  • Marriott International
  • Marx Okubo
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Performance Systems Development
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • State of Missouri
  • State of Rhode Island
  • Steven Winter Associates
  • Transwestern
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • YR&G

In addition, organizations have pledged to continue working with cities, utilities, and other stakeholders to continue the progress of the EDA. The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have committed to promote EDA best-practice resources as part of their ongoing work, while the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) will work with its members to support continued data access solutions.

ANNOUNCING NEW COMMITMENTS TO THE PRESIDENT’S CALL TO ACTION

24 Cities, State, and Businesses Commit to Improving the Energy Efficiency of Their Buildings 20 Percent by 2020:  Today, 24 new partners representing 38 million square feet of building space, and 11 plants and facilities, are committing to join the President’s Better Buildings Challenge and improve their energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020. Since its launch in 2011 more than 285 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings across a total of 4 billion square feet of building space, and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. To date, partners are sharing 225 of their proven strategies and are on-track to meet their goals, with cumulative energy savings of 94 TBTUs, the equivalent of $840 million dollars. Across the country, these partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties, and are already reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties. Altogether these new partners will work to improve efficiency across their entire portfolio of buildings. Today’s new partners and their commitments include:

  • CBJ Energy Baltimore, MD – joins as a financial ally and commits $5 million
  • City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN –2 million square feet
  • Columbia Association, Columbia, MD – 490 thousand square feet
  • Electrolux Charlotte, NC –5 plants
  • H.J. Russell & Company Atlanta, GA –1 million square feet
  • Huntsville City Schools Huntsville, AL – 5.3 million square feet
  • Intuit Quincy, WA – 1 data center
  • IO Data Centers Phoenix, AZ – 4 data centers
  • Iron Mountain Data Centers Boston, MA  –committing 8 data centers
  • Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility Headquarters: Ithaca, NY –1 plant
  • Jamestown Atlanta, GA – 6.3 million square feet
  • Keene Housing  Keene, NH – 385 thousand square feet
  • Manchester School District Manchester, NH – 2.3 million square feet
  • Nike Inc. Beaverton, OR – committing 8.8 million square feet
  • Orange Water and Sewer Authority, Carrboro, NC – 5 facilities
  • River Trails School District 26, Mt. Prospect, IL – 220 thousand square feet
  • Sabey Data Center Properties Seattle, WA – 7 data centers
  • Saunders Hotel Group Boston, MA – 245 thousand square feet
  • Shari's Cafe & Pies Beaverton, OR – 400 thousand square feet
  • The Wendy's Company Dublin, OH – 920,000 square feet
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center Huntsville, AL –350 thousand square feet
  • University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD – 2.5 million square feet
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Omaha, NE – 6.5 million square feet
  • Vistula Management Company Toledo, OH – 340 million square feet

Seven New Cities and States Commit to Install More Efficient Lighting: Outdoor Lighting: With today’s announcements, 23 city, state, and regional organizations are working with DOE to convert over 1.5 million street light poles to high efficiency street lighting technologies. Partners are developing best practice approaches to system-wide upgrades, as well as addressing issues that limit investment in high-efficiency technologies such as financing and utility tariff-rates. The successful strategies are documented in publically available resources such as the Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool. Recently joined partners include:

  • City of Albany, NY
  • City of Anchorage, AK
  • California Street Light Association
  • City of Chicago, IL
  • Deerfield Beach, FL
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • State of Washington

As a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Initiative 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 voluntary commitments. This means saving hundreds of billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing GHG 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.