The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, part of the nation-leading public/private initiative of the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge program, has achieved its energy reduction goal with a 20.3 percent reduction two years ahead of the 2020 goal.
The initiative, led in partnership with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s One Atlanta Office, Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Southface, Midtown Alliance, and Livable Buckhead, set out to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in participating buildings across Atlanta by 2020.
“Energy is at the core of economic activity in Atlanta, and when done thoughtfully, a transition to clean energy yields large payoffs for communities,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “In the true spirit of One Atlanta, we came together to achieve this significant energy reduction milestone two years before the challenge deadline. This is yet another example of what Atlanta can accomplish when we all work together towards a common goal.”
With more than 450 buildings representing over 115 million square feet committed to the Challenge, the Atlanta program is the largest of its kind in the nation. The portfolio of buildings committed to the challenge include offices, healthcare, municipal buildings, K-12 schools, universities, hotels, and various other property types.
Originally enrolling in 2011, the City of Atlanta became one of the first participants to commit to the Better Buildings Challenge, setting an internal goal of 2 million square feet, a 20 percent reduction in energy by 2020, and pioneered a local goal of a 20 percent reduction in water by 2020.
Atlanta has since saved 1.3 billion gallons of water (equivalent to a 30-day supply), created and sustained 654 jobs, added $51.63M to the regional economy, and saved energy to power nearly 150,000 homes for a year.
Clean Energy Atlanta is the City’s commitment to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2035; it includes both municipal operations and citywide efforts to assist residents and businesses.
Energy reduction, such as that achieved through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, shows how a transition to clean energy with a focus on energy efficiency can advance equity, create tens of thousands of new jobs, and make Atlanta a healthier, more resilient community.
Through the success of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, participants have saved over $380 million and the city has benefited from a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 544,276 cars from the roads for one year.
Additional positive outcomes include an economy that has been strengthened through the creation or sustainment of jobs every year, stimulating local and regional economic growth. Reducing the demand for energy and water has also reduced electricity generation, resulting in improved air quality and better public health outcomes.
“Congratulations to the city of Atlanta for achieving its energy reduction goal as part of the Better Buildings Challenge,” said Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the US Department of Energy. “By sharing their strategies and results, goal achievers are demonstrating leadership and inspiring others to tap into the continued potential for energy efficiency. Their energy productivity gains help cut costs, create jobs, and drive economic growth.”