Technology better buildings challenge clip

Published on May 27th, 2013 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Better Buildings Challenge Achieving Greater Commercial Building Energy Efficiency [Infographic]

Most of us associate “green building” with “energy-efficient homes“; when we think of buying energy, we immediately think of our own utility bills. But, as you might expect, commercial buildings and industrial facilities are huge users of energy, so President Obama and the Department of Energy launched the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011 to get more efficiency out of the $400 billion spent each year to power these installations.

So, how’s it working out? New Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced first-year numbers from the Better Buildings Challenge last week, and it’s moving towards its goal of 20% greater efficiency by 2020. The infographic below from the Department of Energy lays out some of the details of first-year results.

Got your own ideas for how commercial buildings and other such structures can use energy more efficiently? Share them with us in the comments. If you want a larger version of the infographic, click on it.

better buildings challenge infographic



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



  • http://www.EnergyActio.com Bob Roth

    With about 30% of America’s commercial energy bills being pure waste . . . energy audits should be selling like hot cakes. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

    While building owners and business tenants are keen on reducing their energy bills, very few have even the slightest interest in an energy audit. That is the “Energy Audit Conundrum.”

    The White Paper “Solving the Energy Audit Conundrum” suggests one viable solution. It is available for free download at http://www.energyactio.com/solving-the-energy-audit-conundrum/.

  • http://www.SidelSystems.com SidAbma

    How many of these commercial buildings and industries across America have a chimney poking out of their roof? What is leaving most of these chimneys? Hot exhaust!
    Increased natural gas energy efficiency = Reduced utility bills = Profit
    Increased natural gas energy efficiency = Reduced global warming
    Increased natural gas energy efficiency = Reduced CO2 emissions
    Increased natural gas energy efficiency = Water conservation

    America wants to create GreenJobs
    How many jobs would be created assessing all of these locations?
    How many engineers would be required to design the most efficient method of applying all this recovered heat energy from this natural gas exhaust?
    How many mechanical firms would be hired to install all these Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery systems?

    What could this do for America’s economy?
    What would this do for America’s environment?

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