Better Buildings Initiative Creates More Than $15B In Energy Savings

Since 2011, the Better Buildings Initiative has partnered with public and private sector leaders to improve energy efficiency of commercial buildings and industrial plants.

Organizations participating in the Better Buildings Initiative have achieved $15.3 billion in energy savings since President Obama announced the program in 2011, according to the program’s latest progress report.

Better Buildings InitiativeThrough the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) public-private partnership, more than 900 businesses, state, and local governments, utilities, housing authorities, and other organizations pursue ambitious energy, waste, water, and/or greenhouse gas reduction goals and share their solutions. The resulting savings represent 155 million metric tons of carbon emissions, or roughly the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 20 million homes in one year.

The 2022 Better Buildings Progress Report, released today during the program’s annual Summit, summarizes the achievements of Better Buildings partners, which include 36 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, 10 of the top 25 U.S. employers, and more than 100 state and local governments. Together these companies represent 14% of the American manufacturing energy consumption footprint and 13% of total commercial building space.

Decarbonizing America’s building sector is a key part of President Biden’s plan to reach a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“Leading companies, state and local governments, and other organizations are working with DOE’s Better Buildings program and have committed to using less energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and sharing the solutions that work,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This year’s progress report underscores the incredible impact of those commitments in decarbonizing the sectors responsible for over 35% of America’s emissions. Our partners are leading the way to a prosperous clean-energy economy and a healthier planet.”

Better Buildings Initiative
(Source: Better Buildings Initiative)

Highlights from the 2022 Better Buildings Progress Report include:

  • Demonstrating market leadership: 12 “Goal Achiever” organizations reached their Better Buildings Challenge energy or water goals in the past year. Through the Better Buildings or Better Plants Challenge, more than 345 organizations have committed to increasing their energy efficiency and sharing their solutions with the market. The 12 organizations are:
      • Bullitt County Public Schools, KY
      • District of Columbia Housing Authority
      • Fort Worth Independent School District
      • Jamaica Plains Neighborhood Development
      • Knoxville, TN
      • Legrand North and Central America
      • Life Time, Inc.
      • Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
      • Wendium of Florida
      • The Wendy’s Company
      • Whole Foods Market
      • Will County, IL
  • Advancing decarbonization: More than 100 organizations have joined Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or more within 10 years across their facilities and fleets. DOE is supporting their efforts by providing technical assistance, facilitating peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and highlighting real-world, replicable solutions. 65 Low Carbon Pilot partners are exploring building- and plant-level pathways for reducing emissions.
  • Reducing financing barriers: Financial Allies have extended more than $28 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects since the start of the program.
  • Promoting workforce development: In its first year, the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator provided nearly 100 trainings to more than 38,000 participants. Additionally, more than 500 attendees joined Better Plants Virtual In-Plant trainings in the past year, identifying over $4 million in potential energy savings.
  • Driving innovation and emerging technologies: Integrated Lighting Campaign participants reported energy savings of approximately 4 million kilowatt-hours through the implementation of advanced lighting systems. Building Envelope Campaign participants reported savings of approximately 9 billion British thermal units based on envelope technologies alone.
  • Supporting green leasing and high-performance buildings: Green Lease Leaders launched a new Platinum level to recognize companies for integrating high-performance leasing and social equity practices into building operations. The program expanded by more than 20%, and the total program spans five billion square feet of building space. This DOE initiative is in partnership with the Institute for Market Transformation.

You can download the full 2022 Better Buildings Progress Report here.

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