This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 29, 2013

Better Buildings Challenge Reports First Year's Savings

The Obama Administration's Better Buildings Challenge partners have improved facility energy efficiency by more than 2.5% per year on average compared to their baseline years during the Challenge's first year. This equals about $58 million in annual energy savings. The Energy Department on May 22 recognized the partners for their progress toward the goal of making America's commercial and industrial buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020.

Better Buildings Challenge partners are actively deploying energy efficiency projects across their entire building portfolios and tracking data on energy use and energy savings, including more than 7,700 facilities to date. Of these, more than 1,300 have reduced energy intensity by 20% or more, while another 2,100 have reduced energy intensity by at least 10% since their baseline years. These partners have also completed more than 50 showcase projects that highlight innovative, cost-effective energy saving strategies. For example, Kohl's, with its commitment of 112 million square feet in more than 1,000 U.S. stores, has achieved a 7% reduction in energy intensity since its 2008 baseline year.

Better Buildings Challenge financial allies have also invested more than $1.1 billion in private financing for energy efficiency improvements. U.S. commercial and industrial buildings together account for roughly half of the nation’s energy use and more than 40% of U.S. carbon emissions. Each year, the United States spends about $400 billion to power those buildings. See the Energy Department press release and the Better Buildings Challenge website.