Philadelphia joins Better Buildings Challenge and launches Energy Reduction Race

BY Burns Mechanical IN Construction, Energy, Philadelphia Benchmarking

Philly benchmarkingHVAC and lighting systems account for 75% of the energy used in the City of Philadelphia’s 270 million square feet of non-residential space. Energy use disclosure has confirmed that the opportunities for Philly’s building owners to reduce operating expenses are significant. We’re keeping a close watch on the situation, and this week Philadelphia heard some important announcements that we’re happy to share:

On Tuesday Mayor Michael Nutter announced that Philadelphia, along with the city’s housing authority and school district, has joined the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge, a program through which states, municipalities, corporations, and educational institutions commit to energy savings of 20 percent or more over 10 years.

The City also launched the Energy Reduction Race, a one-year challenge to Philadelphia’s largest commercial buildings to reduce energy use 5 percent by the end of September 2015.  The three best-performing buildings in Philadelphia will receive awards of $5,000 based on total energy reduction, greatest energy reduction by square footage, and greatest increase in ENERGY STAR score.

In Philadelphia, buildings account for 62 percent of greenhouse emissions. In 2012 Philadelphia enacted an energy disclosure law, and the year-two report recently became available here. The energy disclosure compliance rate was 90% for the year ending in June 2014.

More about the Better Buildings Challenge

The Better Buildings Challenge, a component of the nation’s Climate Action Plan, seeks to motivate corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. According to a recent DOE news release, more than 200 organizations are partnering in the challenge to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. These entities are implementing energy efficiency at more than 9,000 facilities with more than 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by at least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent compared to their baseline years, according to the DOE.