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In 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a national initiative to improve the efficiency of commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily buildings by 20 percent or more over ten years. The City of Milwaukee became a partner to the Better Buildings Challenge in 2012, pledging to reduce the energy use of the City’s building portfolio 20 percent by 2020. The City developed a Showcase Project with the Milwaukee Central Library and created a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program as an implementation model for other cities to replicate.

In 2015, the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office received a $750,000 award from DOE to expand the Better Buildings Challenge – Milwaukee (BBC-MKE) program by developing and implementing a comprehensive energy efficiency program. The expanded program bundles a streamlined customer experience involving energy benchmarking, energy assessments, and determination of next steps with operations and maintenance support, workforce development, technology integration, marketing, and awards.

Over 3 years, the City and its partners are aiming to impact 200+ buildings, in particular Class B & C commercial buildings, small commercial buildings, and K-12 schools.

City of Milwaukee Progress

Graph of City of Milwaukee BBC EUI and % Improvement vs. Baseline

  • 111 buildings
  • 3,964,244 square feet
  • 11% energy savings

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