The US Department of Energy issued a progress report on the second-year accomplishments of its Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge at the first National Better Buildings Summit on May 8.
DOE announced that in 2013, Better Buildings Challenge partners reduced the energy use of their buildings and industrial facilities by more than 2.5 percent. 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.
DOE highlighted several of its partners, including Best Buy, which has achieved a 24 percent reduction in total energy consumption from a 2008 baseline across its 47 million square foot commitment. Best Buy’s portfolio-wide energy reduction successes have been achieved by strategies such as an enterprise energy management system, skylights, and a dimmable fluorescent lighting system to harvest daylight.
Another partner, Schneider Electric, improved its energy intensity by close to 18 percent across 34 facilities, including 25 manufacturing plants. At its Smyrna, Tenn., plant, the company has improved energy performance by about 30 percent through a combination of energy efficiency measures and the installation of a large solar array.