The Better Building Challenge is a measure taken by President Obama’s administration to make U.S. commercial and industrial buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020.
In the first year of its implementation, more than 110 organizations have deployed energy saving projects at over 7,700 facilities. New data submitted by the Challenge partners shows that they have improved facility energy efficiency by over 2.5% per year on average compared to their baseline years, equal to about $58 million in annual savings.
So who are some of these organizations, what are they doing, and – most importantly – can you mirror their success? Some examples include:
- Kohl’s: The department store has achieved a 7% reduction in energy intensity since its 2008 baseline years. Its showcase project store in Niles, OH, has achieved 20% reduction by replacing its rooftop HVAC unit, conducting a lighting upgrade, and recommissioning its energy control systems.
- Legrand: The firm has committed to a 25% reduction across five plants and nine non-manufacturing facilities and has achieved a 29% reduction since its 2009 baseline year. As part of Legrand’s showcase project at its 100-year-old headquarters in West Hartford, CT, the company repairs leaks in the facility-wide compressed air system and added insulation to existing paint line ovens, which could result in over $120,000 in annual savings when combined with other measures.
- Michigan State University: Since its baseline year in 2010, MSU has achieved 10% reduction by submetering as many building as possible and conducting a continuous auditing program of new or newly adjusted systems.
Implementing similar projects at your facility doesn’t require participation in the Better Building Challenge, but it could be a worthwhile first step in greening your operations for a long time to come.