The Department of Energy reported that more than 900 partners involved with its Better Buildings initiative have saved some $18.5 billion and cut emissions by nearly 190 metric tons.
The DOE release, 2023 Better Buildings Initiative Progress Report, also included the results of the Better Climate Challenge, which invites major building portfolio owners and industrial partners to cut emissions by 50% within 10 years. In the first year of the challenge, nearly 1 billion square feet of buildings and 1,500 industrial plants have been represented by involved partners, reporting an average of 21% emissions reductions from base year levels.
The Better Buildings Initiative aims to improve energy efficiency for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, in turn accelerating cost-effective emissions reductions for involved parties. According to the DOE, public and private organizations spend about $200 billion to power commercial buildings each year, and an additional $200 billion is spent on industrial energy. At the same time, about 20% to 30% of U.S. energy is wasted due to inefficient building design and operations.
By working with public and private sector stakeholders to pursue energy, waste, and water efficiency along with emissions reductions goals, the DOE is working to achieve efficiency gains across multiple sectors of the economy.
“To meet President Biden’s ambitious climate goals, the public and private sector need practical pathways to reduce emissions while cutting costs — and that’s exactly what they get from DOE’s Better Building Initiative,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “We’re proud to partner with hundreds of businesses from every pocket of the nation to develop and deploy the innovative solutions we need to combat the climate crisis and secure our clean energy future.”
2023 Report Highlights Industry Involvement and Shared Decarbonization Solutions
Partners of the DOE initiative include nearly 30 U.S. Fortune 100 companies and about 20 of the top 50 U.S. employers, with over 40 organizations reaching their Better Buildings, Better Plants, or Better Climate Challenge goals this year. Financial allies have also offered over $32 billion towards energy efficiency and renewable energy projects since the program began.
The online Better Buildings Solution Center offered by the DOE includes shared solutions for energy efficiency and decarbonization strategies, also promoting collaboration amongst sectors.
The DOE said that energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change while reducing costs for consumers.