Medford Joins U.S. DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge, Pledging to Drive Greater Energy Efficiency and Serve as a National Model
Today, Mayor McGlynn is excited to announce that Medford is joining the Better Buildings Challenge, a Department of Energy (DOE) program. In addition to the City of Medford, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is also joining the program today. The Better Buildings Challenge is a national leadership program calling on corporate chief executives, university presidents, state, local and school district leaders to reduce their portfolio-wide energy use by 20 percent by 2020 and showcase the solutions they use and the results they achieve. Medford began working on its 20 percent reduction in 2010, when the City was in the first group of municipalities to be designated a Green Community by the Commonwealth.
“Once again, Medford shows its public commitment to energy efficiency”, said Mayor Michael J. McGlynn. He continued, “By joining the Better Buildings Challenge, we will be working together with the United States Department of Energy to help us upgrade our buildings and provide energy savings data and strategies. In turn, Medford will be highlighted as a model for others to follow”.
As a Better Buildings Challenge Community Partner, Medford has pledged to make aggressive efforts to increase energy efficiency by implementing energy management programs throughout municipal buildings and by working with residential and commercial building owners in their the City. Medford is currently working on a Local Energy Action Plan which will list goals and actions in all three areas. Community input has been solicited on this plan, and information on the development of the plan and on how to provide input is available at http://www.mapc.org/medford-leap.
Medford is working with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to install energy efficient upgrades at the LoConte Ice Rink, including a low-e ceiling as its showcase project for the Better Buildings Challenge. Additionally, Medford is working with energy consultants to develop a second showcase project at Medford High School. The Office of Energy & Environment is looking at energy-saving projects to install new lighting, weatherize windows and doors and implement an Energy Management System over the next few years. Medford will also share facility-level energy use data as well as successful strategies and approaches with DOE, other Partners, and the public as part of this program. The data and solution transparency they provide will serve as an example to other communities and help transform the market toward increased energy efficiency.
This week, Alicia Hunt, Medford’s Energy Efficiency Coordinator is speaking at the Better Buildings Summit in Denver, CO, with Meg Lusardi, Director of the Green Communities Program to share this program with other communities and states throughout the country. They will be sharing information to help other states develop strong state-local partnerships around energy efficiency and clean energy.
“Through President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, our partners are committing to real change, breaking through barriers, and sharing their successes,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “We applaud these Partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient, saving money for taxpayers while protecting our air and water.”
Local governments can play a key role in facilitating energy efficiency across communities through implementing innovative policies, building codes, and financing strategies, as well as developing new models of public-private partnerships and the City of Medford will continue to work with its peers and lead by example.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial buildings and industrial plants in the U.S account for 50 percent of the nation’s primary energy use, cost about $400 billion to operate, and produce 40 percent of the country’s CO2 emissions. By taking steps to become more energy-efficient, DOE estimates that many buildings can reduce energy use by 20 percent.
About the Better Buildings Challenge
The Better Buildings Challenge is a national leadership initiative that calls on chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders to significantly reduce their portfolio wide energy use and share the results of their energy reduction strategies. Launched by President Obama in December of 2011, the goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American commercial and industrial buildings at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. More than 100 organizations, representing almost 2 billion square feet of commercial and industrial buildings and almost $2 billion in energy efficiency financing, currently partner with the U.S. Department of Energy in the Better Buildings Challenge. For more information please visit BetterBuildings.ee.gov/Challenge.