Local Government

Local Government

Local government buildings account for 64% of all government floor space, and with a 20% reduction in energy use these municipalities can save approximately 180 trillion Btus collectively. Through policies and programs, local governments spur innovative energy efficiency solutions, and by adopting best practices in public buildings they lead by example. Their efforts are saving taxpayer dollars, freeing up funding for other public priorities, and driving energy efficiency across their communities.

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Better Communities Alliance

Collaborate with DOE's Better Communities Alliance to demonstrate successful models for furthering energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable energy in their communities.

Register for the 2018 Summit

The 2018 Better Buildings Summit will be held with DOE’s annual Energy Exchange in Cleveland, Ohio on August 21-23. Don't miss the largest and most exciting DOE training, trade show, and peer event of the year!

2018 Progress Report

More than 350 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge are saving 380 trillion Btus and an estimated $3.1 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings.

Featured Solutions

The City of Milwaukee’s three-pronged business and community engagement strategy includes incentives, education and outreach, and recognition to encourage local businesses and K-12 schools to join BBC-MKE and implement energy efficiency projects in their buildings.
To advance its energy efficiency goals, Salt Lake City introduced an Executive Order requiring all City-owned buildings enact an energy management policy. 
The City of Hillsboro formed the South Hillsboro High-Performance Building Partnership—a public-private partnership—to spur above-code development by packaging existing and new incentives and support services for developers and builders, so that they can contribute to the City's ambitious sustainability goals.
HVAC and lighting upgrades to the Hall County, GA Courthouse Annex, plus the establishment of a regular maintenance program, greatly increased energy performance and improved building operations control.
There are many ways to finance energy efficiency projects in buildings you own or occupy. The Navigator helps you cut through this complexity to secure financing that works for you. 
Retrofit Chicago leveraged public-private partnerships to deliver building owners customized Energy Road Maps with strategic and tactical recommendations to meet their 20% energy reduction commitment while maximizing internal rate of return and utility incentives.
Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) and Arlington Public Library system established an Energy Lending Library, which provides a suite of tools to help community members take a hands-on approach to evaluating energy consumption and identifying opportunities to save money on energy bills.
Milwaukee, WI created a PACE financing option that allows building owners to pay for energy improvements through a voluntary municipal special charge which is attached to the property, not the owner.
The King County Airport Terminal project is a deep energy retrofit focused on replacing the mechanical and lighting systems throughout the facility with state-of-the-art efficient technologies. This project highlights how a modern design approach to mechanical and lighting systems can dramatically reduce energy use, and how older and historic buildings can achieve deep energy reductions and exceed advanced energy code requirements.

Other Resources

Additional Information

U.S. DOE State and Local Solution Center

The State and Local Solution Center provides resources to advance successful, high-impact clean energy policies, programs, and projects. By championing state and local leadership, addressing specific market barriers, and promoting standardized approaches, the Solution Center aims to help states, local governments, and K-12 schools take clean energy to scale in their communities.

The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action)

SEE Action offers resources, discussion forums, and technical assistance to state and local decision makers as they provide low-cost, reliable energy to their communities through energy efficiency. Developed collaboratively by state and local officials, energy efficiency experts, and real estate practitioners, the 2020 Leadership Agenda for Existing Commercial and Multifamily Buildings defines the baseline actions that states and communities can take by 2020 to demonstrate national energy efficiency leadership.

Better Buildings Accelerators

Accelerators demonstrate specific innovative policies and approaches, which will accelerate investment in
energy efficiency upon successful demonstration. Each Accelerator is a targeted, shortterm, partner-focused activity designed to address persistent barriers that stand in the way of greater efficiency. The most recent accerators especially pertinent to local governments include: Zero Energy DistrictsWastewater Infrastructure Clean Energy for Low Income Communities, and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for Resiliency.

Energy Data Accelerator Toolkit

Through the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator local governments joined forces with their local utilities to make it easier for building owners to get access to whole-building energy usage data for the purposes of benchmarking their buildings. Visit the Toolkit for a suite of case studies and guides on how cities, states, real estate organizations, and utility leaders continue to develop innovative solutions. 

Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

The ESPC Toolkit is a collection of resources that will enable state and local communities to learn and benefit from the work of the ESPC Accelerator. It includes the best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used to successfully establish and implement performance contracting. Resources are grouped so that potential users of the mechanism can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process.

Outdoor Lighting Accelerator (OLA) Toolkit

While LED street lighting technology is gaining greater acceptance in some regions across the country, market perceptions and barriers still prevented municipalities from taking full advantage of the energy savings and cost benefits of high performance lighting, especially LED upgrades. A compendium of tools and resources to help municipalities with street lighting conversion planning and implementation can be found in the OLA Toolkit.


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