Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced three Better Buildings Accelerator programs. USGBC Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Law Roger Platt and I were in attendance at the White House events. Driving better building practice is central to USGBC’s work, so it’s no surprise that the program launch took time to highlight our community’s ongoing contributions to building energy benchmarking, accessing data and unlocking new markets for energy efficiency.
The new accelerators, Energy Data, Performance Contracting and Industrial Superior Energy Performance, are a key 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.
“We can expedite opportunities for energy efficient technologies in the marketplace, accelerate investment in realizing energy efficiency results, and demonstrate best practices in managing building energy use portfolio-wide,” Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley said in a letter to partners describing the effort.
Designed to be complementary to the president’s Better Buildings Initiative, USGBC’s Mainstream Building Benchmarking and Improve Energy Data Access campaigns have been catalyzing progress in cities and regions to unlocking new potential for building energy efficiency.
Through a current set of 16 city-and-electric-utility pairs, the Energy Data Accelerator seeks 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.
We look forward to supporting both the administration’s new efforts to tap the energy efficiency potential of existing buildings, and also the new city and utility partners committed to producing replicable models for how to effectively realize the savings in energy, carbon and money.