The US Department of Energy recognized the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in the Department’s Better Buildings Challenge in which Los Angeles has pledged to reduce the energy intensity for 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20 percent by 2020.
DOE leaders toured the Los Angeles Central Library, which has reduced its energy costs by 20 percent. Each year, the 500,000-sq-foot library uses seven million kWh. Through the Challenge, Los Angeles has retrofitted the library, including replacing an aging roof with a cool roof, updating the HVAC system and replacing old lighting with new, energy efficient bulbs. As a result of these upgrades, the library is on track to save about $175,000 in energy costs per year.
As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Los Angeles is also working to benchmark 250 of the city’s most energy-intensive facilities and develop a plan to improve building performance by 2020. More than 25 owners of large commercial buildings, including Transwestern, Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, Kilroy Realty and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, have joined the Challenge and are reporting their results annually.