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Published on May 16th, 2014 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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The Better Buildings Challenge: Harnessing Competition to Save Energy [Infographic]

Energy efficiency ain’t sexy: I’ve uttered this phrase more times than I care to count. I found out just how unsexy earlier this week as I culled through a year’s worth of electricity, gas, and water bills for St. John’s Episcopal Church (where I’m a member).  Yeah, not the most exciting of tasks, but an important one for beginning to examine the church’s climate and water footprints… and for putting together our entry into Energy Star’s Battle of the BuildingsThis particular competition is just one of several launched by the Obama administration; the biggest of the bunch is the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.

Never heard of it? That’s not surprising if you don’t work in the field of commercial building management/maintenance (or if you don’t contribute to such efforts for an organization to which you belong). But it’s one thing you can point out to those friends who claim “the Obama administration’s done nothing for the environment.” Each year, building managers enter data on their building’s energy, and attempt to improve it over the course of the following year. The goal: improve energy efficiency in these buildings by 20% over a ten-year period. Those who succeed get recognized for their success… and likely save their companies or organizations a sizeable chunk of money.

How sizeable? Take a look at the infographic below for some details; click on it if you need a bigger version. Participating in the Better Buildings Challenge? Tell us about your experience…

doe better buildings challenge infographic Graphic source: US Department of Energy



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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



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