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 Buildings SWAP

Watch the cities of Atlanta and Boston as they swap energy teams to improve the energy efficiency of the busiest airport in the world and one of the nation's oldest libraries.

Register for the 2019 Summit

The 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is happening July 10-11 in Arlington, VA. Don't miss this opportunity to explore emerging technologies and share innovative strategies in energy and water efficiency alongside peers.

View the Latest Top 10 Solutions

Each month, Better Buildings recaps the 10 most-viewed solutions shared by partners. Check out the most recent list of toolkits, webinars, and other resources the first week of every month! 

Featured Solutions

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. 
To improve the city’s energy management process, Boston implemented a programmatic overhaul to how energy data was collected, analyzed, and reported. Boston incorporated a blend of in-house and outsourced strategies to optimize resources and staff availability.
Amway Center Showcase Project
LED lighting retrofits to both court and back of house lighting plus comprehensive HVAC upgrades are further reducing energy use at the first LEED Gold certified NBA facility.
As part of its multi-departmental Climate Protection Program, the City of Chula Vista developed and passed an ordinance establishing the FREE Resource & Energy Business Evaluation (FREBE) Program to encourage and assist local businesses in improving their energy and water efficiency.
Fault Detection and Diagnostics software performed continuous analysis of the HVAC system, which discovered some operating inefficiencies: simultaneous heating and cooling, over-ventilation of occupied space, and air handlers operating during unoccupied periods. The Facilities Department then developed energy conservation measures (ECMs), and conducted a retro-commissioning of the Public Safety Building.
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.
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.
This resource guide provides state and local leaders with streamlined access to key existing resources for developing and implementing high-impact building energy benchmarking and transparency programs in their jurisdictions. It was created by DOE and the Institute for Market Transformation.

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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