December 3, 2013 -- The Energy Department today announced that the City of Houston has joined as a partner in two of three new Better Buildings Accelerators. These Better Buildings Accelerators are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to engage leaders in state and local governments, utilities, and industry to demonstrate innovative policies and programs that will transform the energy efficiency market and cut building energy waste.
“Through President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative, our partners are committing to real change – breaking through barriers and solving common challenges across the U.S. building energy industry,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they help drive greater energy efficiency for industrial, commercial and public buildings – cutting harmful pollution and saving on energy bills.”
“The City has been a leader in energy efficiency, leading by example by retrofitting over 100 municipal buildings and working with the private sector to encourage energy efficient practices,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “We are proud to work with the Energy Department and other cities and utilities to continue this work to achieve our goal of a 20 percent energy reduction by 2020.”
Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator
Houston and Reliant Energy join more than 30 cities and utilities that have committed to demonstrate streamlined, best-practice approaches for building owners to access whole-building energy usage data for the purposes of benchmarking and achieving greater energy and cost savings. Participants representing 2.5 million customers are committing to develop, demonstrate and share best practices for providing energy data to building owners and help identify low cost savings opportunities.
Better Buildings Performance Contracting Accelerator
Houston joins fifteen other partners including cities, states, and school districts that have committed to helping expand the use of performance contracting by federal, state, and local governments, and K-12 schools. Energy performance contracting allows building owners to use future cost savings to pay for new energy efficiency equipment and services to improve efficiency and reduce energy bills. Participants in this Accelerator have committed to more than $1.2 billion in performance contracting over the next three years. Houston has retrofitted over 100 municipal buildings to date. The City’s next project will be to retrofit 21 libraries using energy performance contracting.
The Energy Department will support Better Buildings Accelerator partners with training, technical assistance, tools and resources. For a list of all organizations joining the Better Buildings Accelerators, please click here.