Better Buildings Initiative Delivers the Goods: $11 Billion in Savings!
The Department of Energy (DOE)’s annual Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is the comic book convention of the efficiency sector. Each summer, more than 3,000 C-Suite executives, building managers, engineers, and other decision-makers convene for four days to explore emerging technologies and share strategies in energy and water efficiency.
The summit is hosted by the Better Buildings Initiative, a market-driven program housed within DOE that works with public and private sector partners to set and achieve aggressive energy reduction targets. You won’t see capes or cosplay at this summit, but don’t be fooled: The superheroes at these gatherings go by names such as ISO 50001, automated controls, and combined heat and power.
This year’s summit, hosted virtually, had a much more sobering atmosphere than those of previous years – more than 400,000 efficiency jobs have been lost since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But amid this downturn, the 2020 Better Buildings Progress Report released last week delivered news that affirms the importance of the sector. Since Better Buildings was founded in 2013, the initiative’s 950+ partners have saved a cumulative 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units and $11 billion in energy-cost savings – enough energy to power 27 million American homes for a year.
Partners represent 32 of America’s Fortune 100 companies, 12 of the top 25 U.S. employers, 12% of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13% of U.S. commercial building space. Many Alliance Associates are among these market leaders, and a handful were given a shout-out in the report for successfully meeting one or more of their energy goals, including 3M, Daikin Applied Americas, Hannon Armstrong, Johnson Controls, Legrand, Metrus Energy, Schneider Electric, and Trane Technologies.
Eleven billion is a mind-blowing number (for reference, 11 billion seconds is the equivalent of 341 years), but this milestone is just the beginning. Many companies have only just scratched the surface of their energy savings potential, and by incorporating energy efficiency initiatives into plans for economic recovery, we can keep up the momentum this new report proves possible, while also putting our workers back on the job.
To quote Bruce Wayne, “everything is impossible until somebody does it.”