With the Better Buildings Challenge playing a key role in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the DOE and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are honoring the Denver Housing Authority and the cities of Denver and Arvada, CO, for their leadership in improving facility energy efficiency. Under the three organizations’ combined authority, efficiency upgrades are being implemented across 10 million square feet covering commercial buildings, municipal facilities, and multifamily affordable housing.
The Denver Housing authority’s showcase project focuses on improving 665 rental units with solar PV systems that are generating energy and producing cost savings through use of a power purchase agreement (PPA). The 10,000 solar panels have helped to cut energy use in the multifamily facility by 19% while saving $12,000 per year on power.
Since joining the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011, the City of Denver has reduced energy waste by 9% across its portfolio by using strategies such as retrofitting building automation systems, installing solar photovoltaic panels, and adding variable frequency drivers to HVAC units. Additionally, the City of Arvada has cut its own energy consumption by 8% since 2009 with upgrades such as lighting, envelope, and equipment improvements that have cut $6,500 from the facilities’ annual electricity and gas costs.
“The strategies and practices utilized by these partners can be replicated across the U.S. to cut energy waste and create more sustainable communities,” says energy secretary Ernest Moniz.