| May 8, 2014 - This week, the City of Knoxville was recognized by the U.S. Energy Department for its achievements in the Better Buildings Challenge and for reducing energy intensity by 16 percent across its entire building portfolio.
The announcement was made at the first National Better Buildings Summit on May 8, along with the release of second-year accomplishments and results. Better Buildings Challenge Partners are demonstrating progress to achieve 20 percent energy savings in 10 years, with annual energy savings of 2.5 percent or $300 million.
"In Knoxville, the early results have been gratifying - both from the standpoint of providing leadership in promoting sustainability and in saving taxpayers' dollars," Mayor Madeline Rogero said.
After entering into an energy savings performance contract with Ameresco in 2009, the City of Knoxville upgraded about 100 City buildings and more than 40 ballparks, fields and golf courses. One of the upgraded buildings, the Knoxville Convention Center, hosts 120 kw of solar, acquired LEED Silver Certification, and has achieved significant utility bill savings in the process.
"I am proud of the progress the City has made toward improving the energy efficiency of its facilities," Mayor Rogero said.
"We have made significant strides toward reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint through the installation of lighting, energy controls and solar systems. We are on track to meet our 20 percent goal, and we continue to look for opportunities to save energy and money in our buildings."
The Better Buildings Challenge is a national leadership initiative launched by President Obama in 2011 with the goal of making American commercial, multifamily and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient in 10 years.
The Better Buildings Challenge supports President Obama's broader goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector partners across the country to save energy through commitments and investments.
"By committing to cut energy use by 20 percent, Better Buildings Challenge partners are demonstrating how businesses and organizations are reducing our nation's energy bill, creating American jobs, and protecting the environment," said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
"With commitments representing more than 3 billion square feet of floor space, these partners are leading the way to a cleaner energy economy."
At the National Summit, the Energy Department announced that in 2013, Better Buildings Challenge partners successfully reduced the energy use of their buildings and industrial facilities by more than 2.5 percent. These energy savings are the equivalent of about $100 million a year.
Since 2011, partners have committed more than 3 billion square feet and 600 manufacturing plants and facilities to energy efficiency upgrades and have shared energy performance results for more than 9,000 facilities.
Of these facilities, more than 2,100 have been improved by 20 percent or more, and more than 4,500 by at least 10 percent since their baseline year. Through participation, Partners have saved 36 trillion Btus and $300 million since the Better Buildings Challenge began.
In the past year, there are more than 190 organizations participating from local governments, school districts and universities to commercial real estate, healthcare and manufacturing companies. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Partners have created and shared more than 110 solutions including showcase projects and implementation models to help the marketplace move more quickly to adopt energy efficiency measures.
In addition, the Challenge includes a network of financial and utility allies to assist partners in overcoming financial and data access barriers across the marketplace.
For a detailed progress report on the Better Buildings Challenge and to find out more about the Challenge participants and their energy efficiency projects, visit www.energy.gov/betterbuildingschallenge.