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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

We Can't Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings

Upgrades Will Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs and Save Billions

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers. In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.
Today’s commitments were announced by President Obama and former President Clinton along with representatives from more than 60 organizations as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February by President Obama, and is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy.
“Upgrading the energy efficiency of America’s buildings is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution, and create good jobs right now.  But we can’t wait for Congress to act.  So today, I’m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years – at no up-front cost to the taxpayer.  Coupled with today’s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future,” said President Obama.

“Investments in building retrofits and energy efficiency can make a real difference in the American economy, by creating jobs, growing our industries, improving businesses’ bottom lines, reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations. I am proud the Clinton Foundation has been able to help develop and grow President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, and that so many members of the Clinton Global Initiative have joined this Challenge. Working together, I am pleased the commitments to the BBC have grown from the initial $500 million and 300 million square feet that we announced in June at CGI America, to the $2 billion investment with over 1 billion square feet of retrofitted space that we are announcing today,” said President Clinton.

"The Better Buildings initiative has all the components to make a real difference-it will create profitable investment opportunities for worker pension funds, create badly needed good jobs, increase America's competitiveness around energy savings, and address the dangers of climate change," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
In a move the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recognized as critical to job creation, today’s Presidential Memorandum calls for fully implementing existing federal authority to utilize Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs)in order to promote energy efficiency and create new jobs. Under the ESPC program, new energy efficient equipment is installed at Federal facilities at no up-front cost to the government. The cost of the improvements is paid for over time with energy costs saved on utility bills, and the private sector contractors guarantee the energy savings.
Better Buildings commitments announced today include:


3M is a diversified technology company serving customers and communities with innovative products and services operating in more than 65 countries. To date, 3M has cut absolute worldwide GHG emissions 72% from 1990-2010. With 78 plants committed to the Challenge, 3M aims to reduce energy use an additional 25% by 2015 in 37 million square feet of building space. Through the Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge, 3M will maintain a focus on transparency around a capital set aside for energy efficiency projects, and highlight an innovative recognition program that rewards top performing plants.


The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and its affiliated labor unions are engaged in a major effort to find ways for skilled labor, Taft-Hartley and public employee retirement funds to be appropriately engaged in energy-saving building retrofits and infrastructure improvements across America. In addition to making investment managers aware of the many compelling investment opportunities in building retrofits and infrastructure, the AFL-CIO will undertake an energy-efficiency retrofit of its own headquarters to serve as a signature component of the Better Buildings Challenge.  The AFL-CIO will work with existing real estate-focused investment funds to invest $150 million of capital in energy efficient retrofits of commercial, multifamily, institutional and public buildings.


Alcoa has made a commitment of improving energy efficiency by 25% across 30 million square feet of industrial plant space by the year 2020. Alcoa's portfolio for the Challenge consists of 30 plants, which currently consume 42 trillion BTUs of energy. Alcoa will be showcasing a $21M investment in an expansion of its Barberton, Ohio facility.  This project involves a new 35,000 square foot building to advance the company’s recycling and casting process by producing new wheels from re-melted and scrap aluminum. This will be the first of its kind in North America and is expected to create 30 full-time jobs and help protect more than 350 current positions.

Allegheny College

Allegheny College -- a national liberal arts college where 2,100 students with unusual combinations of interests, skills and talents excel -- will celebrate its bicentennial in 2015. A leader in sustainability, the college has committed to achieving climate neutrality by the year 2020. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Allegheny College will reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020 in 1.3 million square feet of building space across their campus. Carr Hall, currently under renovation, will house the Richard J. Cook Center for Environmental Science and be showcased under the Better Buildings Challenge program. The renovation includes high-efficiency HVAC systems, daylighting and efficient lighting solutions, as well as glazing, shading, and a vestibule to increase the lobby's energy efficiency.

Ascension Health

Ascension Health is the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system with 68 acute care facilities across 20 states and the District of Columbia. Ascension Health focuses on serving all persons with special attention given to the underserved and last year, provided $1.2 billion in care to persons living in poverty and community benefit programs.  Ascension Health’s Environmental Stewardship Program is committed to create social, financial and environmental benefits for patients, visitors, associates and the local communities served. As a Better Building Challenge Partner, Ascension Health has committed to a 20% reduction in energy use by 2020 across 30 million square feet of acute care hospitals and related facilities.

Blue Hill Partners LLC

Blue Hill Partners is a green sector investment firm which provides capital, management support and strategic guidance, and employs investment capital to create and fund optimized service solutions for improving the built environment. Blue Hill Partners has teamed with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to lead the investment of over $45 million in energy efficiency and sustainability projects at Pennsylvania colleges and universities through the Campus Energy Efficiency Fund. As a Better Buildings Challenge Ally, Blue Hill Partners commits to achieving over $50 million of energy efficiency investments.

Briggs and Stratton

Briggs & Stratton Corporation is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Briggs & Stratton Products Group is North America’s number one manufacturer of portable generators and pressure washers, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lawn and garden and turf care. Its brands include Brute, Snapper, Simplicity, Ferris and Murray. Briggs & Stratton has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and has set a goal to improve energy intensity by 25 percent by 2018 across eight manufacturing plants and a total of 5.8 million square feet of facility space.


CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2010 revenue).  CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting.  Through its partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge, CBRE has established an energy efficiency commitment of achieving on average a 20% energy reduction target by 2020 across an initial portfolio totaling 25 million square feet of buildings nationwide. The reduction strategies will include multiple efforts such as providing resource and training support to CBRE management staff, implementing no cost and low cost opportunities to increase operational efficiencies and improve facility energy performance as well as encourage capital funding from our clients to perform equipment and retrofit upgrades as applicable to further drive efficiencies.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 155,000 hospital admissions. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, the Cleveland Clinic is targeting 24 million square feet of building space over 204 different buildings with a 20% energy reduction commitment by 2020. As a leader in energy efficiency, their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge and examples of success they will share will set the example for the healthcare industry.

Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc., designs, manufactures, distributes and services engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 500 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 5,200 dealer locations. Cummins places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and uses its technological advantage to build the cleanest, most efficient diesel engines and power generation systems in the world. The company is taking a number of steps to achieve its target of improving energy intensity by 25 percent over ten years, including setting up a dedicated energy efficiency capital fund, pursuing ISO 50001 certification at select plants, and appointing energy champions to help lead its energy efficiency efforts.

Delaware State University

Delaware State University (DSU) serves a diverse student population with a broad range of programs, and as a Better Buildings Challenge Partner has set a goal to reduce energy consumption in almost 2 million square feet of building space 25% by 2015. DSU will implement measures to increase energy efficiency and upgrade important facility systems using an innovative option for financing capital improvements with energy savings. DSU maintains a historic plot of Delaware land that is now a picturesque 400-acre campus.

Denver, CO

The City and County of Denver has made energy efficiency a core tenant of the Greenprint Denver sustainability initiative. Through its partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, the City has committed to reducing energy use by 20 percent by 2020 across its building portfolio, which totals more than 6 million square feet. Mayor Michael B. Hancock plans to use the City's leadership to challenge private building owners, the non-profit sector, and schools to pledge similar energy reduction goals. Denver will undertake a number of energy savings projects within its own buildings, educate external partners through outreach programs, and showcase significant projects throughout the community, including a deep retrofit of the Alliance Center and the Living City Block program.

The District of Columbia

Through its partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, the District of Columbia is committing to a multi-pronged action plan to reduce energy consumption in over 90 million square feet of city and privately held buildings in the downtown core by at least 20 percent by 2020.  The District has set forth an energy efficiency and renewable energy agenda and has invested in long-term incentive programs that will support a public-private collaboration and ensure that Washington is a national leader in the energy efficiency economy.  The District has made a series of commitments on its own 300+ buildings that will demonstrate leadership from the top, among them completing energy audits, implementing a showcase retrofit and investing at least $4 million in the next five years on energy efficiency measures.  The District has long-term commitment to energy efficiency programs and policies that support the Better Buildings Challenge, including a benchmarking and disclosure regulation for over 3,000 private commercial buildings, making the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) a one-stop shop for the District’s energy efficiency solutions and resources and the creation of energy efficiency financing tools targeted at commercial building owners.  These financing tools and products will provide at least $225 million in competitively-priced capital to commercial owners over the next nine years to fund energy efficiency improvements.  The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (“BID”) and the DowntownDC ecoDistrict have accepted the Better Buildings Challenge in partnership with the District of Columbia and Mayor Vincent Gray.

Douglas County School District, NV

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) serves the communities of Gardnerville, Minden, Genoa and Zephyr Cove at Lake Tahoe, nestled among the 751 square miles of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Carson Valley.  DCSD is the 6th largest in the state of Nevada, and provides a high quality education to over 6,200 students.  Douglas County School District is committing to a 20% energy reduction by 2020, and will retrofit approximately 944,000 square feet across eleven (11) schools and multiple support facilities.   DCSD has recently completed an energy savings performance contract targeting facility upgrades and infrastructure repairs in all eleven (11) of its schools and as additional improvements are made through bond initiatives, energy efficiency standards are implemented to continue reaping the benefits of energy savings.  DCDS will be highlighting their energy efficiency upgrades at the Gardnerville Elementary School which is currently under renovation.

Energi, Inc

Energi Inc. is a Massachusetts based Industrial Reinsurance Company that provides innovative risk management and insurance programs to segments of the energy industry.  As a way to enable market activity, Energi and Hannover Re jointly developed "Energy Savings Warranty," a program that insures the energy savings guarantees made by energy efficiency contractors or ESCOs. As a Better Buildings Challenge Financial Ally, Energi has committed to insure a minimum of $50 million in retrofit projects.

Forest City Enterprises

Forest City Enterprises is a national real estate company engaged in the ownership, development, management, and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land.  With more than $10billion in total assets, Forest City Enterprise’s diverse portfolio includes retail, office, conventional housing and federally assisted housing buildings. The company is a leader in mixed-used communities, adaptive reuse projects, and sustainable properties. Forest City Enterprises defines sustainability as one of its core values, and as a Better Buildings Challenge partner is committed to reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020 across 14 million square feet.


GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. In 2010, GE achieved a 33 percent improvement in its own energy intensity, a 24% reduction in its GHG emissions (both from a 2004 baseline) and 22% improvement in its water re-use (from a 2006 baseline). In 2010, GE set new, more aggressive targets for 2015:  A 50 percent energy intensity improvement, 25% GHG emissions reduction, and a 25% water reduction, from the same baselines across more than 105 million square feet.

GE Capital Americas  (GECA) will shape a credit strike zone and profitability model for commercial building energy efficiency projects that will lead to financeable opportunities of $50MM+.  GECA will use its best efforts to create financial products to meet market needs through all steps of the supply chain from manufacturers, to dealers to end users.  GECA foresees the ability to help financing energy-saving technologies in areas such as lighting and HVAC across multiple markets – including office, retail and manufacturing.

HEI Hotels & Resorts

HEI Hotels & Resorts located in Norwalk, CT is a hospitality owner and operator of over 40 well-known upscale and luxury hotels including well-known brands  Marriott, Renaissance, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, “W”, Hilton, Embassy Suites and Crowne Plaza totaling nearly 10 million square feet throughout the United States and representing approximately $2.5 billion total investment. HEI is a leader in energy efficiency having reduced their portfolio wide consumption between 5% & 7% annually the past few years and currently, HEI is working towards company-wide 2011 targets for energy savings and waste reduction of 3.5% and 10% respectively. As part of their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, HEI has committed to reducing the energy use in their ever growing 10 million square feet of building space 20% by 2020.

Houston Independent School District, TX

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school District in the state of Texas. The District provides a quality K-12 education to over 200,000 students in the City of Houston. The District is implementing a large scale, comprehensive energy efficiency project that will include behavioral initiatives, retro-commissioning, capital asset upgrades and water conservation measures. The District is committing to a 30% energy reduction by 2015 and will retrofit approximately 24 million square feet.  Not only will this project decrease energy consumption, it will significantly improve learning by creating a more comfortable and conducive learning environment.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

IHG is an international hotel company managing seven highly recognized hotel brands including Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites with more than 4,500 hotels in 100 countries.  IHG’s currently has a company-wide benchmarking initiative that aims to realize energy savings ranging from 6% to 10% in owned and managed properties by 2012. IHG is participating in the Better Buildings Challenge by committing 24 million square feet of hotels.

Jones Lang LaSalle

Jones Lang LaSalle is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management, and operating in 1,000 locations in 70 countries. As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, Jones Lang LaSalle is committing to develop implementable programs to improve energy efficiency at large properties totaling 98 million square feet across its U.S. managed portfolio, in order to achieve a 20% energy reduction by 2020. Through this partnership, Jones Lang LaSalle will highlight its innovative strategies to identify energy savings and determine costs to develop a “shovel ready” set of projects backed by a solid business case for investment.

Kentucky Community and Technical College System

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), founded in 1998, is a system of 16 comprehensive community and technical colleges operating on 68 campuses. KCTCS is the largest provider of postsecondary and workforce training in Kentucky, enrolling more than 51 percent of Kentucky’s postsecondary public headcount enrollment and offering more than 600 program offerings. As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, KCTCS is committing to reduce 20% of energy use by 2020 across 7 million gross square feet, comprising approximately 600 buildings.  KCTCS will showcase an integration of building automation systems, utility meter interval data, utility bill data, and regression analysis software that will allow KCTCS to perform a software continuous commissioning process.

Kohl’s Department Stores

As a national retail company, Kohl’s knows that its biggest impact on the environment comes from the energy use of its more than 1,000 stores and has made managing energy use a key strategy for driving savings and conserving resources.  Kohl’s manages energy-related initiatives in energy management, ENERGY STAR certification and renewable energy, including solar.  By joining the Better Buildings Challenge, Kohl’s commits to reduce its use of energy in more than 112 million square feet of occupied building space by at least 20 percent by 2020.


Legrand is a leading provider of products and systems for electrical installations and information networks for the built environment with 170,000 products divided into 95 categories worldwide. Legrand has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability through its corporate-wide adoption of ISO 14001 and by becoming an industry leader in energy-efficient plant and building operations. As a partner with the Better Buildings Challenge, Legrand has committed to reducing energy intensity by 25% across 14 sites encompassing 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space by 2021. Legrand will showcase energy management improvements achieved through the Challenge at its West Hartford, CT site.

Michigan State University

One of the top research universities in the world and a member of the Association of American Universities, Michigan State University offers nationally ranked and recognized academic, undergraduate research, residential college, and service-learning programs. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, MSU has committed to improving the energy efficiency of about 20 million square feet of building space, targeting an energy reduction goal of more than 20 percent by the year 2020. These efforts will occur on a campus that that encompasses 5,200 acres and a built environment of teaching, research, and support space. Currently, the university is engaged in developing a set of building profiles across 110 buildings that approximates 80 percent of the square footage in its building portfolio. These profiles will enable the university to identify facilities that will benefit most from the implementation of retrocommissioning that will facilitate reductions in energy consumption.

Nissan North America Inc

Nissan North America’s environmental strategy encompasses eco-innovative technologies and energy management. As part of the Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge, Nissan has committed to reducing energy usage in its three U.S. plants 25% by 2020, affecting 12 million square feet of plant space. This effort is part of Nissan’s global environmental action plan, the Nissan Green Program 2016, which includes a wider application of fuel-efficient vehicles and corporate carbon footprint minimization. In Smyrna, Tenn., Nissan is currently making a $200 million investment in a new paint plant that will improve energy efficiency by 30% compared to the plant it is replacing.

The PNC Financial Services Group

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations, with more than $269 billion in assets (as of September 30, 2011). PNC provides consumer and small business banking primarily in 15 states and the District of Columbia, with residential mortgage banking and corporate and institutional banking offices across the continental United States. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, PNC is working towards a 30% energy reduction goal in 26 million square feet by 2020. As a leader in energy efficiency, PNC’s participation in the Better Buildings Challenge and their examples of success will provide a great model for other organizations with a large number of locations.

Poudre School District, CO

Poudre School District, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, serves approximately 25,000 students and includes 50 schools. PSD is the 9th largest school district in Colorado and covers 1,856 square miles in northern Colorado. Poudre School District is committing to a 20% energy reduction goal by 2020 and will be working across 50 schools totaling 4 million square feet, to improve energy efficiency under the Challenge, and will be highlighting their deep retrofit work at the Poudre High School.


Prologis is the leading global provider of industrial real estate, with approximately 600 million square feet of distribution space in markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia totaling $42 billion in total assets under management. Prologis leases its operating portfolio of 3,300 industrial facilities in 22 countries to manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, third-party logistics providers and other enterprises with large-scale distribution needs. Prologis engages with colleagues around the world to reduce their environmental footprint in areas such as energy, waste, procurement and water. As a partner of the Better Buildings Challenge, Prologis has made it a key priority to work with our customers to reduce energy consumption in 100 million square feet by 20% by 2020.

RREEF Real Estate

As the global real estate investment business of Deutsche Bank's asset management division, RREEF Real Estate has over $58.5 billion dollars in assets under management around the world as of September 30, 2011. As a partner of the Better Buildings Challenge, RREEF Real Estate is committing to reducing the energy consumption across a portfolio of at least 5 million square feet of US commercial office buildings by 20 percent by 2020.

Sacramento, CA

As the capital of California, Sacramento’s vision is to transform itself into the greenest region in the country and become a hub for clean technology through strengthening the regional economy, creating green jobs, adopting innovative policies and raising the region’s Green IQ.  As a Better Buildings Challenge Community Partner, the city, through its Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, has committed to reducing energy use 20% by 2020 in over 12 million square feet of building space through energy efficiency improvements.  The PACE program will tap private investment to stimulate retrofitting of commercial buildings throughout Sacramento.   In parallel, the City of Sacramento is establishing programs in support of the region’s “Greenwise Action Plan” and is creating a suite of services for the commercial sector.

Saint-Gobain Corporation

Saint-Gobain is the world’s largest building materials company, employing 19,000 people in North America at 140 manufacturing facilities that work to make homes more comfortable, cost-efficient, and sustainable. As a Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge Partner, Saint-Gobain has pledged to increase efficiency across its 114 U.S. plants, targeting a 25% reduction in energy consumption by 2019 over 20 million square feet of building space. At a Massachusetts site, Saint-Gobain committed to a large compressed air retrofit project plant that is expected to deliver savings of 15% in the compressed air system.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management helping its residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure and data center customers improve their efficiency and reduce their energy consumption with products, services and solutions. As a Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge Partner, Schneider Electric has committed to reducing the energy use of 9 million square feet of building space, covering 40 different plants, by 25%. The company’s showcase project includes pursuing Superior Energy Performance certification at a Smyrna, TN plant site that includes a recently installed 1,000 kilowatt dual voltage solar farm.

Serious Energy, Inc.

Serious Energy, Inc. increases the value of buildings with a platform of products and services that combine real-time building analytics and material science innovations.  Since 2002, Serious Energy’ s solutions have helped make 70,000 buildings—including the Empire State Building and the New York Stock Exchange-- more valuable, comfortable, and efficient. Our customers have achieved extraordinary reductions in energy use and drastically improved indoor environments through measures such as super-insulating windows that have directly avoided investments in new heaters, chillers, and other systems.  Serious Capital, a division of Serious Energy, brings together proven technology and financing to guarantee savings and better building performance in a way that requires no upfront payment. As Financial Allies of the Better Buildings Challenge, they have committed to executing $100 million worth of energy efficiency upgrades with their clients.

Shorenstein Properties LLC

Shorenstein Properties, LLC, one of the oldest and most successful private real estate investment companies active throughout the United States in the acquisition, development, ownership and management of office and mixed-use properties. For the past 2 years, thru energy efficiency strategies identified and implemented to date, Shorenstein has been able to achieve a 5% reduction in energy consumption as well as a cost savings of $1.7 million to date.  Shorenstein is now coordinating a national tenant tour, the Flip the Switch Campaign, to educate its tenants about the importance of energy conservation and to provide them with actions they can take to be more energy-efficient. Shorenstein will continue its commitment to energy efficiency by targeting a 20% consumption by 2020 over a baseline of 2008 in over 12 million square feet, as part of its commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge.

State of Iowa, Department of Administrative Services

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is committed to identifying and implementing cost effective energy management improvements in public and non-profit facilities in Iowa.  As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, the DAS has committed to reducing energy consumption in over 17 million square feet of buildings by at least 20 percent by 2020.  This commitment includes reducing energy in the 2.4 million square foot Capitol Complex by 20 percent by 2015. The DAS also manages the Iowa Energy Bank, a stimulus-funded $12.5 million revolving loan program to finance energy saving programs in state and local governments, schools, hospitals and colleges. As part of their Better Buildings Challenge commitment, the Energy Bank will finance projects that reduce energy consumption at least 20 percent.

State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Commerce works to provide state residents with the resources to make smart decisions about energy use in public and private buildings. Energy efficiency and conservation are the first options for reducing energy use and costs in Minnesota and the state recently passed Executive Order 11-12 directing all state agencies to set a goal of a 20% reduction in state energy consumption. In addition, Senator Franken has launched Back to Work Minnesota, an initiative to unlock financing for commercial and public buildings retrofits to boost energy savings and jobs across the state. As a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge, the State will be working to achieve these goals and improve energy efficiency across 30 million square feet of buildings.


With over 2,500 retail stores nationwide including Albertson's, Shaw's, Jewel-Osco, Cub, Farm Fresh, and more SUPERVALU has been at the heart of the retail grocery business for over 140 years.  At the core of its mission is being America’s Neighborhood Grocer and reducing energy use and waste across its portfolio is a key component.  With over 89 million square feet SUPERVALU is excited to be working with the Department of Energy to build the grocery store of the future and as a member of the Better Building Challenge plans to reduce by 20 percent its energy consumption by 2020.


TIAA-CREF is a financial services organization specializing in retirement services to 3.7 million customers in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. As a leader in the efficiency field, TIAA-CREF has committed to a Better Buildings Challenge goal of reducing energy consumption in 40 million square feet by 20% by 2020. Participation in the Better Building’s Challenge is providing a forum for TIAA-CREF to share their successes for others to learn from.

University of California, Irvine

UC Irvine is dedicated to research, scholarship, and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine educates nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, the campus is committing 7 million square feet of its most energy-intensive building space, the campus academic core, with the goal of cutting annual energy consumption by 8.8 percent in 2012. The commitment includes more than 180 buildings housing instructional, office, and complex laboratory space, as well as recreational and patient care facilities.  UC Irvine will also share some of the energy innovations developed on campus as part of its commitment, including the Smart Labs program, which has successfully reduced energy consumption in lab space by more than 50 percent using advanced occupancy and air quality sensors to reduce the amount of conditioned air exhausted into the atmosphere when conditions permit.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Mania (UHM) is the central and flagship campus of the University of Hawaii system. The Manoa campus is a teaching/research institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees to a full time enrollment of approximately 20,000 students. It is a 304 acre urban campus comprised of just over 5 million square feet of occupied space.  As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, the campus is committing to reducing energy use 50% by 2015.

University of Utah

The University of Utah serves over 31,000 students from across the U.S. and world, offering a diverse and broad set of programs. As a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, the University of Utah has set an energy reduction goal of 20% by 2020 affecting approximately 14 million gross square feet of building space.  The University is embracing sophisticated and purposeful strategies that produce replicable results for their facilities, and any similar facilities throughout the country, and will work with the Department of Energy through Recovery Act funding in 2010 on a new net-zero project, rehabilitating the existing College of Architecture + Planning Building.  The University of Utah plans to build on the success of this relationship by improving their entire building portfolio through the Better Buildings Challenge.

Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest investor-owned utilities, providing safe, reliable and affordable electric service to nearly 14 million people.  During the past five years, SCE’s energy efficiency programs have saved more than five billion kilowatt-hours -- enough energy to power 725,000 homes for an entire year. The programs have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2 million metric tons -- the equivalent of removing 350,000 cars from the road.  As a Better Buildings Challenge Utility Ally, SCE will provide a "one stop shop" for building owners, offering automated data upload into Portfolio Manager and coordinating program offerings for its customers.

Walgreens Co.

Walgreens is the nation's largest drugstore chain and operates more than 7,700 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  The company has a long-standing commitment to reducing energy usage and expanding its renewable energy initiatives, and through its partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge is committing to reducing energy use by 20% by 2020 across its portfolio of 125 million square feet.  Walgreens will reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint through a comprehensive approach including investment in the most energy-efficient technologies, installation of energy management systems in thousands of locations and a commitment to renewable energy, with solar power installations at more than 130 locations.

Wyndham Worldwide

Wyndham Worldwide is one of the world's largest hospitality companies across six continents, with approximately 7,300 franchised hotels worldwide, 99,000 vacation properties, and more than 160 vacation ownership resorts. Wyndham is implementing a plan for franchise properties, to adopt energy efficient measures, including a Better Building Challenge commitment of reducing 20% of their energy consumption by 2020, over 10 million square feet of their operationally controlled facilities.

Ygrene Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund offers no-cost PACE program design, administration and funding to cities and counties throughout the U.S.  Ygrene gives equal weight to careful program design, strict administrative guidelines, broad-based marketing, contractor training and certification and comprehensive support for all stakeholders.  Ygrene Energy Fund commits to generating $100 million of energy efficiency retrofits through commercial PACE projects, establishing a new means for building owners to finance upgrades with lower utility bills, increased property values, added comfort and environmental responsibility, low interest rates, long repayment periods, simple underwriting procedures and profitable economics."

Better Buildings commitments made in June include:

Abundant Power

Abundant Power is a financial services firm specializing in designing, administering, underwriting, and structuring clean energy financing programs and products.  Abundant Power expects to originate and finance more than $100 million of commercial building energy efficiency projects over the next 18 months. Abundant Power is partnering with states and municipalities, utilities, and industry partners to introduce and scale its services; aggressively market and source projects; raise debt and equity funds to provide structured financial products; and evaluate and underwrite projects and programs identified by Better Buildings Challenge partners. Since the first of June of this year, approved and financed projects for the Alabama Saves program, administered by Abundant Power, are:

Total projects funded/completed:  3 projects: $3,066,000

Total projects approved/in process:  2 projects: ~$1,900,000

Total projects under review /application submitted: 3 projects: ~$1,500,000

Total other pipelines projects identified: 20 projects: ~$19,000,000

Atlanta, GA

The City of Atlanta has united with the metropolitan business and nonprofit community to implement a comprehensive energy upgrade of participating buildings across Atlanta, with a primary focus on a 400-block area in the city's Downtown central business district. Working with the Department of Energy, the goal of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge is to improve energy and water performance a minimum of 20% by 2020. Project partners will work with banks, funds, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), and others to enable substantive retrofits of downtown university, healthcare, municipal, and commercial buildings. The effort is already underway with a benchmarking and assessment initiative of 20 Phase One buildings, totaling over 16 million square feet.

Best Buy

Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with over $50 billion in annual revenue, leasing or owning more than 55 million square feet of retail space in the U.S. alone. Best Buy is a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability, implementing increased efficiency operations, and instituting a recycling program, across its stores. Best Buy has committed to reduce its energy consumption in 55 million square feet of retail space 20% by 2020 in North America.  As a first step, Best Buy has been moving forward to implement an Enterprise Energy Management Solution to centralize the tracking and management of energy consumption throughout all of its stores.  The system will include both an upgrade and centralization of technology as well as support infrastructure to manage energy and will also tie in with the service management of store infrastructure.  Best Buy will be implementing a number of energy savings techniques using the new system, including eliminating overcooling of space in various zones in stores, correcting electrical phase imbalances and identifying and reducing high energy consumption during non-business hours.


Citi, a leading global financial services company with approximately 200 million consumer accounts in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions, is committed to continue developing and offering scalable financial solutions for aggregations of energy efficiency projects. Closed transactions include the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, a $70.2 million bond offering projected to create over 1,000 jobs and save State Agencies more than $26 million. Existing projects and projects under development target public and private sector clients, employ a number of financing mechanisms, partners and clients, and are sized starting at a minimum of $25 million for each transaction. As a Better Buildings Challenge Financial Ally, Citi will pursue at least $500 million in financing.

Green Campus Partners LLC

Green Campus Partners LLC is a portfolio company of Hudson Clean Energy Partners, a leading global clean energy private equity firm. Green Campus Partners LLC co-develops, structures and arranges capital for commercial, industrial, hospital, and university energy conservation projects, Energy Savings Agreements and renewable and distributed generation projects. These efforts are expected to result in more than $200 million in financing for energy conservation projects as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. Green Campus Partners works closely with the Administration, stakeholders, and other partners to make principal investments in energy efficiency projects, leveraging their expertise in energy efficiency structuring and development, deep capital markets relationships and commitment to providing solutions. Since joining the BBC in June of 2011, GCP has structured and arranged committed financings for approximately $90MM in EE transactions which includes closed or awarded transactions with 13 school districts.

Green Sports Alliance

The Green Sports Alliance is currently comprised of 35 member sports teams representing over 20 million square feet of sports venues and facilities. Supporting the Better Buildings Challenge encourages professional sports teams and their venues to implement conservation projects that will result in significant financial and environmental performance.  As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, the Alliance will aim to reduce the energy use of member facilities by at least 20% by 2020 in aggregate. The Green Sports Alliance members are identifying and undertaking energy conservation projects and are promoting the Better Buildings Challenge to all new members and partners.  Green Sports Alliance members are already demonstrating that this goal is attainable.  The Seattle Mariners and Portland Trail Blazers have implemented conservation strategies and facility improvements that have resulted in energy savings of 30 percent in fewer than three years.  Since joining the Challenge, CenturyLink Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC, has completed an energy retrofit which will reduce its energy use by 16%.   In Los Angeles, AEG’s STAPLES Center is implementing a variety of conservation measures through their ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System to reduce electricity consumption overall by 12%.  Most recently they have begun a comprehensive lighting retrofit that will replace almost 3,000 halogen fixtures with more energy efficient LEDs throughout the facility by early 2012, saving over $80,000 per year.

Lend Lease

Lend Lease, one of the world's leading fully integrated property solutions providers, is committed to partnering with like-minded organizations and governments to deliver the next generation of sustainable communities and property and infrastructure solutions. A global leader in sustainability, Lend Lease’s Better Buildings Challenge goal is to reduce energy consumption by at least 20% during the next three to five years within its Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) portfolio.  This portfolio is comprised of approximately 40,000 homes, 800 historic structures, 19 offices and 19 community centers, representing more than 65 million square feet of real estate, ultimately helping American military families bring energy security home. As a first step, Lend Lease kicked off its partnership with a daylong event for all of its 10 projects at its Atlantic Marine Corps Communities at Tri-Command project. Sustainable efforts include continuing to green retrofit existing structures, develop an energy consumption reduction program and focus on renewable energy solutions such as solar energy generation, fuel cell technologies, wind and ground source heating and cooling technologies.

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles are participating in the Better Buildings Challenge by showcasing the LA Commercial Building Performance Partnership. This program provides energy audits and a suite of creative financing solutions to support owners of commercial property implement energy efficiency upgrades. Los Angeles will set a goal of 20% minimum savings on projects supported through the program, and the city will work with and recognize private sector property owners who make equal commitments of their own to reduce energy consumption.  Los Angeles expects approximately 30 million square feet of commercial property to be audited, using $3.2 million in Recovery Act funds with the goal of driving at least $25 million in total investment during their partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge.   Since June 2011 the LACBPP has initiated energy audits encompassing over 25 million square feet of commercial space -- from small neighborhood retailers to downtown skyscrapers -- and is developing a directory of capital providers to facilitate access to project funding options.

Metrus Energy

Metrus Energy, a pioneer in innovative financing models for industrial and commercial building energy efficiency, is partnering with industry and investors to accelerate the usage of its Energy Services Agreement financing structure. Metrus Energy plans to finance more than $75 million worth of efficiency projects as a Better Buildings Challenge Financial Ally. This will be achieved by financing qualified projects identified by Better Buildings Challenge partners, and showcasing projects under the Challenge to help stimulate greater demand. To date, Metrus has secured letters of intent for more than $10 million in efficiency projects with new customers and engaged in the early stage development of approximately $25 million in additional ESA projects.

Renewable Funding

Renewable Funding is a financial services, technology, and program management firm specializing in innovative approaches to financing clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Renewable Funding is committed to accelerating the development of commercial financing options, with a particular emphasis on the design, structuring and implementation of commercial PACE financing programs. In collaboration with their partners, they anticipate commercial PACE financing will result in over $150 million in commercial building energy efficiency projects during the Better Buildings Challenge. Renewable Funding is partnering with local and state governments, industry stakeholders, and investors to deliver commercial PACE financing; ensuring commercial PACE is designed to attract a wide range of financing options,  including access to the capital markets; and actively engaging with Better Buildings Challenge Partners to identify and approve projects on behalf of the communities they serve. Since June, the firm has invested in the technical, legal, and programmatic infrastructure needed to support PACE programs around the country.  Renewable Funding has engaged in support of commercial PACE in communities located in the states of Florida, Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, and California.  In October, Renewable Funding worked with the City of San Francisco to launch a commercial PACE program with $100 million in funding capacity and the firm will be making a series of announcements regarding new programs, partnerships, and projects over the next three months.

Seattle, WA

The Seattle 2030 District is a nonprofit organization of more than 60 civic leaders, including building owners and professionals, utilities, Architecture2030, the City of Seattle, and King County, creating the first large-scale, high performance building district in the country. The 2030 District follows along an existing history of progressive energy efficiency action by the city, and includes a set of aggressive reduction goals for building energy use, water use, and greenhouse gases. By committing more than 23 million square feet of building space to the Better Buildings Challenge, the Seattle 2030 District will continue to grow as a model of public-private collaboration that will reduce energy use, generate local economic activity, and provide others with a roadmap for a sustainable future.

Transcend Equity

Transcend Equity is a leader in developing energy efficiency projects in commercial real estate, private higher education, and healthcare. As a Better Buildings Challenge Financial Ally, Transcend Equity is working to finance $100 million in energy efficiency projects by partnering with industry and investors to accelerate the usage of its Managed Energy Services Agreement (“MESA”) structure, facilitating investment in energy efficiency improvements in privately owned real estate. These projects are expected to reduce energy use by 25% or more, leveraging a recent joint venture equity investment by Mitsui USA to attract additional debt providers. As part of their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, Transcend equity will aggressively market and source projects, evaluate and finance projects identified by other Better Buildings Challenge partners, and showcase projects under the Better Buildings Challenge to help stimulate additional demand. Since its initial commitment to the Better Buildings Challenge in June of 2011 Transcend has: expanded its staff, executed contracts with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to implement its regional Commercial and Industrial Retrofit Program, utilizing ARRA funds for credit enhancement behind major retrofit projects in the Chicago area; closed and initiated construction on a $1.5 MM retrofit project that will save 24% of the energy use in a 320,000 square foot office building, the first transaction of its kind in New York City, with credit enhancement from ARRA funds; launched a higher education retrofit initiative in Pennsylvania with equity investment from the Treasury of the State of Pennsylvania; and started pre-development on $30 MM in new retrofit projects including two private universities, two office buildings and one mixed use development.


Transwestern, a national, privately-held operating company specializing in commercial real estate services, investment and development is advancing its commitment to promoting sustainability and improving building performance by committing 442 office buildings, totaling 78 million square feet of its managed portfolio to the Better Buildings Challenge. Transwestern is executing its goal to reduce energy consumption across this portfolio by more than 20 percent by 2020 by working with building owners to identify and implement innovative, deep energy retrofits to lower operating costs and improve the bottom line while preserving the environment for future generations.  At one of its managed properties, a 240,000 square foot office building in downtown Washington D.C., Transwestern is currently working on a significant renovation and modernization project to replace the exterior façade, primary mechanical, ventilation and control systems in order to reduce utility expenses and improve indoor environmental quality.  To date, the energy efficiency measures that have been completed are saving almost $200,000 per year, or over $0.99 per square foot.  When complete, the retrofit is expected to have created over 500,000 man-hours of work, or over 250 full-time equivalent jobs.

USAA Real Estate

With more than $9 billion in assets, USAA Real Estate is a long-time leader in portfolio-wide energy management and reduction. USAA Real Estate provides co-investment, acquisition, build-to-suit and development services for corporate and institutional investors. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, USAA Real Estate has committed to reducing the energy use of its portfolio by 5 percent per year for almost 50 million square feet of building space.  In the last six months, USAA Real Estate completed a complete lighting retrofit of the parking garage of the FBI Chicago Building, replacing 363 metal halide lighting fixtures with extremely energy efficient LED lights.  The retrofit will reduce electricity consumption at the facility by 461,900 kWh and will save the facility over $68,000 per year in lower utility bills and reduced maintenance costs.  In addition, of the 245 buildings competing in the year-long ENERGY STAR 2011 National Buildings Competition that ended in November, USAA had two of the final 14 office buildings recognized for reducing their consumption over 15 percent.  These buildings, the GSA Social Security Administration building in Norfolk Virginia, and 350 Las Olas Centre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida reduced energy use year over year by 24.1 percent and 17.9 percent respectively.