the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: Administration Announces New Actions and Progress Made to Make American Buildings More Efficient and Save Businesses and Households on their Energy Bills

President Obama’s Better Building Initiative is Moving the Nation Forward, Faster

 

President Obama is committed to taking commonsense actions to reduce carbon pollution and save taxpayers money on their energy bills. Cutting energy and water waste not only drives carbon reductions, but creates a stronger building infrastructure, improves community resilience, and spurs American job growth.  Through President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative, the Department of Energy is partnering with leading organizations in every state across the country to drive increased investment in energy efficiency and overcome the barriers that prevent many organizations and consumers from capturing these benefits.  Over the last five years, Better Buildings partners and energy savings have more than tripled.

Today there are more than 750 organizations engaged in the Better Buildings Initiative, which brings together leaders across the residential, education and business sectors to engage in ambitious energy goal setting and solution-sharing programs. Through their commitments to efficiency, all of these partners are helping better position the U.S. to combat climate change, make our businesses most competitive, and ensure efficiency provides a lasting strategy for enhancing resilience  of our nation’s building infrastructure and communities. But the Administration continues to look for new opportunities reduce carbon pollution and save consumers money on their energy bills.

That is why, today, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and the U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro are announcing new commitments and progress updates on innovation-driven solutions shared by Better Buildings partners at the third Better Buildings Summit. Today’s announcements include:

  • Launching three new programs in collaboration with 50 states, communities, and organizations to improve the resilience of our buildings, increase energy efficiency in low income communities, and make our wastewater systems more efficient.
  • Announcing 17 businesses, states, and cities achieved Better Buildings challenge goals four years early by improving the efficiency of their buildings or water systems by 20 percent or more.
  • Announcing 32 new cities, universities, K-12 school districts, multifamily housing organizations, and manufacturers committed to achieve 20 percent in energy savings by 2020 – altogether representing 300 million square feet.

In 2011, 60 organizations representing almost two billion square feet of commercial and industrial building space took the Better Buildings Challenge to improve the efficiency of their building portfolios by 20 percent or more, and the financial community committed to almost $2 billion in energy efficiency financing. As Better Buildings Challenge partners continue to increase in reach and numbers, the program grows stronger, with more energy efficiency commitments and influence than ever before. Since the Better Buildings Challenge was launched, the program has:

  • Catalyzed more than $10 billion in public and private sector financing commitments to improve energy efficiency.
  • Expanded the partners working to improve the energy efficiency of buildings from 60 to 750 organizations, including 310 organizations representing 4.2 billion square feet – which is equivalent to 73,000 football fields – that have stepped up to the Better Buildings Challenge to improve their energy efficiency at least 20 percent in five years.
  • Saved businesses and communities $1.3 billion dollars total savings on their energy bills.
  • Avoided 10 million tons of avoided carbon emissions and 160 trillion BTUs of energy.
  • Saved 2.1 billion gallons of water in 2015 alone.
  • Contributed proven approaches with over 400 solutions shared online in the Better Buildings Solutions Center.

NEW ACTIONS TO SAVE HOUSEHOLDS AND BUSINESSES ON THEIR ENERGY BILLS

Launching Three New Better Buildings Accelerators to Create New Opportunities and Overcome Barriers to Improving Efficiency: Already, more than 150 organizations in ten Better Buildings Accelerators have focused on distinct market challenges from outdoor lighting, energy performance savings contracting, and data centers. Today, the Administration is launching three new Better Buildings Accelerators to help the nation seize opportunities to improve critical infrastructure in our communities with a set of 50 founding partners.

  • The Clean Energy in Low Income Communities Accelerator will work with local, state, and national partners to lower energy costs in low to moderate income communities by deploying clean energy through expanded installation of energy efficiency and distributed renewables. Today’s founding partners include:

1.    Atlanta, GA
2.    Chattanooga, TN & EPB Electric Power
3.    Chicago, IL
4.    Cleveland, OH
5.    State of Colorado
6.    State of Connecticut, Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource Energy & Illuminating Holdings Corporation
7.    Duluth, MN
8.    Elevate Energy
9.    Energy Efficiency for All
10.    Enterprise Community Partners
11.    State of Florida
12.    Gary, IN
13.    GRID Alternatives
14.    Groundswell
15.    Commonwealth of Massachusetts
16.    State of Michigan
17.    Mercy Housing
18.    Newark, NJ
19.    Oakland, CA
20.    Philadelphia, PA & Philadelphia Energy Authority
21.    PG&E Corporation
22.    Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future
23.    San Antonio Public Housing
24.    State of Tennessee
 

  • The Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator will work with states, communities, utilities, and other stakeholders to support and expand the utilization of combined heat and power technologies for improved efficiency and enhanced resiliency. Today’s founding partners include:

1.    Bath Electric Gas and Water
2.    Boston, MA
3.    Health Care Without Harm
4.    Hoboken, NJ
5.    Long Island Power Authority
6.    Maryland Department of Commerce
7.    Commonwealth of Massachusetts
8.    Miami-Dade County, FL
9.    State of Missouri
10.    Montgomery County, MD
11.    National Grid
12.    New York, NY
13.    NYSERDA
14.    Pennsylvania PUC
15.    Pittsburgh, PA
16.    PSEG Long Island
17.    Thermal Energy Corporation
18.    Tennessee Valley Authority 
19.    United Illuminating
20.    State of Utah
21.    Woodbridge, CT Partnership (United Illuminating and Amity School District)
 

  • The Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator will work with state, regional, and local agencies to strive toward a 30 percent reduction in their participating energy efficiency water resource recovery facilities and integrate at least one water resource recovery measure into their practices. The founding partners will work with DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Water Environment Federation, and include: 

1.    Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department
2.    Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
3.    State of Alabama 
4.    State of Connecticut
5.    State of Michigan
6.    State of Tennessee
7.    State of Utah
 
Announcing eighteen leading organizations achieve Better Buildings Challenge goals of 20 percent or greater this year: Since 2014, 35 partners have achieved their goals ahead of schedule, whether they were energy or water savings goals or financing goals. Today, we are announcing that this year 18 new leading organization achieved their Better Buildings goals many years ahead of schedule. 
 

Energy Goal Early Achievers: Improve energy efficiency at least 20 percent in five years.

  • Arby’s, 24% energy reduction: Arby’s portfolio consists of more than 940 buildings and 2.7 million square feet. Since 2011, Arby’s has improved energy performance by 24%. Energy savings have been achieved through the implementation of various lighting retrofits, HVAC upgrades, refrigeration and hot water efficiency measures, and an energy awareness program focused on helping sites implement low-cost opportunities for savings.
  • State of Delaware, 23% energy reduction: The State of Delaware’s portfolio consists of over 200 buildings and 8 million square feet. Delaware is committed to benchmarking and tracking facility energy consumption of all state buildings, and implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and state employee behavior change campaigns. Energy savings resulted from lighting and plumbing retrofits across many facilities, HVAC and building automation system upgrades in several others, and an energy awareness program focused on no-cost opportunities to reduce excess consumption.
  • eBay, Inc., 25% energy reduction: eBay’s commitment consists of six data centers located in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Denver totaling 36MW of IT capacity. Since 2012, eBay has improved the energy intensity of their data center portfolio by 25%. Improvements to achieve these savings include installation of new high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives in their computer room air handler units, and implementing control changes in their chilled water and air supply systems.
  • Intuit, 21% energy reduction: Intuit’s commitment consists of a 240,000 square foot stand-alone data center located in Quincy, Washington. Since 2012, Intuit has improved the energy intensity at the 4 MW facility by 21%. Energy savings have been achieved by installing a hot-aisle chimney containment system to improve ventilation, optimizing the temperature set points to reduce cooling load while maintaining performance, and implementing a secondary chilled water reset to reduce the chiller runtime.
  • Havertys, 22% energy reduction: Havertys’ portfolio consists of more than 110 buildings and over 5 million square feet. With sustainability as a core corporate value, Havertys implemented its Bright Inspirations program, which includes comprehensive store energy upgrades and store manager engagement in ongoing energy reductions. These efforts have resulted in portfolio-wide energy savings of over 22% from a 2011 baseline.
  • City of Hillsboro, OR, 22% energy reduction: Hillsboro’s portfolio consists of more than 20 properties and 450,000 square feet. Since 2009, Hillsboro has improved energy performance by 21%. Energy savings have been achieved by implementing a new energy management plan that includes lighting retrofits, HVAC and controls upgrades at its three largest properties, and an energy management policies awareness program focused on low-cost opportunities for savings. Hillsboro has also achieved a 15% reduction in water usage since 2012.
  • Nissan North America, 30% energy reduction: Nissan North America’s portfolio consists of three manufacturing plants. Their energy management activities are a part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative. Nissan uses extensive sub-metering and monitoring equipment to benchmark and identify energy improvement opportunities. In addition, Nissan has achieved a 12.6% reduction in water usage since 2013, driven by new efforts to reuse water, new filtration efforts in its paint shops, and through improved employee engagement.
  • Poudre School District (PSD), 25% energy reduction: PSD, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, serves approximately 25,000 students and includes 50 schools totaling nearly four million square feet. PSD capitalized on a community-supported, $120 million bond issued in 2010 for infrastructure improvements, including deep retrofits of HVAC, lighting, building envelope and water systems. PSD exceeded the program’s goal, achieving 25% energy savings within five years, through its firm commitment to principles of sustainability in all of its operations.
  • River Trails School District, 23% energy reduction: River Trails School District, located in Mt. Prospect, IL, is comprised of three school buildings serving approximately 1,500 students from Pre-K through 8th grade. Their leadership in energy efficiency is demonstrated by ENERGY STAR® certifications and a U.S. Department of Education 2015 Green Ribbon School Award. The district joined the Challenge in 2015 and exceeded its goal early due to recent improvements in equipment, lighting, and energy management systems. Greater savings are expected through upgrades to the building automation systems, retro-commissioning, and outdoor lighting improvements.
  • The Hartford Financial Services, 21% energy reduction: The Hartford Financial Services Group’s portfolio consists of more than 2.4 million square feet of office space. Since 2013, The Hartford has improved its energy performance by 21% in only 2 years, exceeding its goal of 20% by 2023. Energy savings have been achieved by installing high efficiency cooling and lighting equipment, utilizing advanced building automation, upgrading elevator motor and control systems, and optimizing building occupant density.
  • Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA), 27% energy reduction: VVWRA’s portfolio consists of a regional wastewater treatment plant that processes approximately 13 million gallons of sewage per day. VVWRA has an aggressive approach to energy management that focuses on continuous improvement and optimal performance of energy-using applications. The company implements discrete projects like upgrading aeration blowers with variable speed control and generating biogas for cogeneration, and also participates in the water/wastewater treatment pilot for DOE’s Superior Energy Performance program.

Water Goal Early Achievers: Increase water efficiency 20 percent in five years.

  • City of Atlanta, GA, 20% water reduction: Atlanta improved water performance by an average of nearly 5% from its baseline, making exceptional progress through implementation of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, cooling tower upgrades, water reuse, leak detection, efficient irrigation and landscape design practices.
  • Cummins, Inc., 45% water reduction: Cummins has improved its water intensity by developing water balances to better understand water use and identify improvement opportunities, and by taking a broader view of water costs when making the business case for water-saving projects.
  • Poudre School District, 29% water reduction: PSD has established a culture of conservation to include academic programs, extracurricular activities and custodial services. Water conservation related to irrigation is particularly important due to a climate where periods of drought are common.
  • United Technologies Corporation, 43% water reduction: UTC’s water saving progress has been driven by an internal water guidance document, which details the company’s global water scarcity assessment, best practices in managing water at individual sites, and water saving case studies.

Financial Ally Early Achievers:

  • Enterprise Community Partners, $130 million: Enterprise Community Partners has reached their goal of providing $130 million in expertise to developers and grants to help them strengthen their operations. The Enterprise family of companies shares a single mission: increasing access to affordable homes in thriving communities.
  • Ygrene Energy, $100 million: Ygrene Energy Fund achieved their goal of providing $100 million in financing for PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program design, administration, and funding for commercial and residential properties throughout the United States.
  • Community Investment Corporation (CIC), $25 million: The CIC Energy Savers Program reached their goal of providing $25 million in financing for multifamily residential retrofits—including energy assessments, technical assistance, and fixed-rate financing—located in the greater Chicago metro area.
  • Connecticut Green Bank, $25 million: Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first green bank, achieved their goal of providing $25 million to accelerate green energy adoption in Connecticut by making green energy financing accessible and affordable for homeowners, businesses, and institutions.

Announcing 32 new cities, universities, K-12 school districts, multifamily housing, & manufacturers committed to achieve 20 percent energy savings – altogether representing 300 million square feet: In 2016 alone, the Better Buildings Challenge has welcomed 32 new partners. The multifamily sector was the largest contributor of this growth with 16 new partners, and the partner with the biggest commitment in the past year was the New York City Housing Authority, which at 175 million square feet is the largest public housing authority in the United States.

  • Angola Housing Authority, located in Angola, IN, commits 142 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Anthem, located in Thousand Oaks, CA, commits 6 million square feet of commercial real estate.
  • Bard College, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, commits 1.2 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities.
  • Bath Electric Gas & Water Systems, located in Bath, NY, commits its wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Cambridge, MA Housing Authority, located in Cambridge, MA, commits 2.5 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Caritas Communities, Inc., located in Braintree, MA, commits 228 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Cascap, Inc., located in Somerville, MA, commits 177 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • CenturyLink Global Data Center Operations, located in Monroe, LA, commits 2 million square feet of data centers.
  • Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, located in Dorchester, MA, commits 1 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Community College of Allegheny County, located in Pittsburgh, PA, commits 1.5 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities.
  • Consecra Housing Network, located in Oak Brook, IL, commits 1.4 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Cook County, Illinois, located in Cook County, IL, commits 15.6 million of county buildings.
  • Danville Development, located in Midvale, UT, commits 665 thousand square feet of commercial real estate.
  • Encina Wastewater Authority, located in Carlsbad, CA commits its wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Essex Management. located in Haverhill, MA. commits 30.9 million of commercial real estate.
  • Garnet Valley School District, Pennsylvania, located in Glen Mills, PA, commits 800 thousand square feet of K-12 school buildings.
  • Gary Housing Authority, located in Gary, IN, commits 9.8 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Gateway Management Services, LLC, located in Winston Salem, NC, commits 136 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Hackensack University Medical Center, located in Hackensack, NJ, commits 2.4 million square feet of health care buildings and facilities.
  • Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, located in Los Angeles, CA, commits 7.7 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Indianapolis Public Schools, IN, located in Indianapolis, IN, commits 9.7 million of K-12 school buildings.
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, located in Jamaica Plain, MA, commits 363 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Kansas City Public Schools, located in Kansas City, MO, commits 4 million square feet of school buildings.
  • Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, located in Toledo, OH, commits 2.3 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • New York City Housing Authority, located in New York City, NY, commits 175.5 million square feet of multifamily housing.
  • Northwestern University, located in Evanston, IL, commits 13 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities.
  • The University of the South, located in Sewanee, TN, commits 1.4 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities. 
  • Stevens Institute of Technology, located in Hoboken, NJ, commits 1.3 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities.
  • The City of Hickory Public Housing Authority, located in Hickory, NC, commits 277 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • The Renaissance Collaborative, located in Chicago, IL, commits 116 thousand square feet of multifamily housing.
  • University of California, Berkeley, located in Berkeley, CA, commits 15 million square feet of higher education buildings and facilities.
  • Xenia Community Schools, Ohio, located in Xenia, OH, commits 716 thousand square feet of K-12 school buildings.