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Measuring energy

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Better Buildings Challenge-Milwaukee

In 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge through the U.S. Department of Energy, a national initiative to improve the efficiency of commercial, institutional, industrial, and multi-family buildings by 20% or more over ten years. The City of Milwaukee became a partner to the Better Buildings Challenge in 2012 and developed a showcase project with the Milwaukee Central Library that led to 11% energy savings and $47,000 in cost savings. In 2013, the City created the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program as an implementation model for other cities to replicate.

The Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge launched in September 2016 with a $750,000 award from the Department of Energy, bringing together all of the resources a building needs to develop an energy efficiency project, including benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, providing free energy assessments to buildings, and determination of next steps with operations and maintenance support. ECO is currently evaluating funding opportunities to relaunch the challenge supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Stay tuned for updates.

Better Building Challenge logo

Local Outcomes

• 200 buildings pledged to reduce energy use 20%

• 133 free energy assessments completed

• 16.52 million kilowatt-hours and 408,838 therms in annual savings identified

• Estimated annual energy cost savings of over $2.4 million

National Progress

  • Over 345 organizations are partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy to take the Better Buildings Challenge.
  • Partners have collectively reported 900 trillion Btus in energy savings to date, enough to power nearly 10.5 million homes in the U.S. for one year, which represents more than $7.2 billion in cost savings since 2012.
  • Partners are sharing energy data for more than 40,000 properties across the country, saving on average more than 2% each year.
  • Organizations include commercial, data centers, financial services, higher education, industrial, K-12 schools, local government, multifamily housing, and state government.

Better Buildings Challenge Map

Participant Map

Franklin Energy

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee Down Town

U.S. Green Building Council - Wisconsin Logo

Rivion Improving Building Performance

Focus on Energy

BOMA Wisconsin

Energy Star logo