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.


A Roadmap for Building Energy Efficiency

Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge provides a complete roadmap and support services to help building owners realize big energy savings in their buildings.


Roadmap of BBC's strategic goals


City of Milwaukee Progress

(Municipal Buildings)

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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