WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, helping the city save on energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Los Angeles has pledged to reduce the energy intensity of 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20 percent by 2020.

As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Los Angeles is working to benchmark 250 of the city’s most energy-intensive facilities and develop a plan to improve building performance by 2020. More than 25 owners of large commercial buildings, including Transwestern, Kaiser Permanente of Southern California, Kilroy Realty, and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, have joined the Challenge and are reporting their results annually to help others save money and energy.

“Los Angeles is one of the most energy efficient and economically competitive big cities in the country,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “In partnership with DOE, through the Better Buildings Challenge, the city, businesses, utilities, and the real estate community have come together to save energy and create economic opportunity for residents.”

Each year, the 500,000-square-foot Los Angeles Central Library uses approximately 7 million kilowatt hours — equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of about 600 households. Through the Challenge, Los Angeles has retrofitted the library, including replacing an aging roof with a cool roof, updating the HVAC system, and replacing old lighting with new energy-efficient bulbs. As a result of these upgrades, the library is on track to save about $175,000 in energy costs per year.

Better Buildings Challenge partners are actively deploying energy efficiency projects across their building portfolios and updating data on energy use and energy savings, including more than 7,700 facilities to date. Of these, more than 1,300 have reduced energy intensity by 20 percent or more, while another 2,100 have reduced energy intensity by at least 10 percent since their baseline years.

For more information about the Better Buildings Challenge participants, including the city of Los Angeles, and their energy efficiency projects, go to www.energy.gov/betterbuildingschallenge.

Publication date: 2/24/2014

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