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Better Buildings Neighborhood Program

Better Buildings: Promoting and Achieving Energy Efficiency across the U.S.The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is taking a pioneering approach to making buildings and communities dramatically better. More than 190 organizations have taken the Better Buildings Challenge, representing more than $3 billion square feet of building space across diverse public and private sectors, more than 600 manufacturing facilities and close to $2 billion in energy efficiency financing.

DOE partners with states, local governments, and organizations to demonstrate innovative and replicable approaches to make homes, offices, hospitals, schools, and other types of buildings across the nation better.

From 2010 to 2013, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program helped more than 40 competitively selected state and local governments develop sustainable programs to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes and buildings. These leading communities used innovation and investment in energy efficiency to expand the building improvement industry, test program delivery business models, create jobs, and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Better Buildings: Promoting and Achieving Energy Efficiency across the U.S.

Over the course of three years, these projects will:

  • Test innovative marketing tactics
  • Help build a professional workforce to complete building upgrades
  • Evaluate building improvement impacts
  • Assist in providing cost-effective financing programs for building owners

Better Buildings aims to:

  • Create or retain 30,000 jobs
  • Complete 170,000 building upgrades
  • If all U.S. commercial, multi-family and industrial buildings and facilities improve at the program rate, savings would total more than $80 billion per year, after 10 years
  • Share key lessons learned and successful strategies with communities across the country


Industrial and commercial buildings in which we work and live now used roughly 50% of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion. Through a variety of efficiency improvements (e.g. new lighting, greater insulation, more efficient heating and cooling) and proven approaches (clear information, access to financing, energy efficiency investment criteria), we can make these buildings more energy efficient and better places to live and work while creating jobs and building a stronger economy.

The Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020 and accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency.

BetterBuildings Strategies include:

Better Buildings Challenge

The U.S. Government is challenging CEOs, University Presidents, state and local government leaders and others to commit their organizations to lead in saving energy, saving money, and showcasing the best energy saving strategies and their results. Partners commit to an energy savings pledge, a showcase building, and to share their progress. Partners will receive public recognition, technical assistance, and best-practices sharing through a network of peers. Their leadership will provide real case studies and implementation models—linked to results—for others to use.

Better Information

DOE and the Appraisal Foundation are working together to ensure that appraisers have the building performance information, practical guidelines, and professional resources they need to evaluate energy performance when conducting commercial building appraisals. This will help enable investors, building owners and operators, and others to accurately assess the value of energy efficiency as part of the building's overall appraisal and help American businesses to reduce energy waste.

Better Tax Incentives

DOE is working with Congress to redesign the current tax deduction for commercial building upgrades, transforming the current deduction to a credit that is more generous and that will encourage building owners and real estate investment trusts (REIT's) to retrofit their properties. These changes could result in a ten-fold increase in commercial retrofit take up, leveraging job-creating investment.

Better Financing

DOE and Small Business Administration are working to increase and accelerate financing opportunities for commercial and public building energy improvements. DOE is requesting legislative authority in FY12 to issue up to $2 billion in loan guarantees for portfolios of commercial building energy efficiency efforts.

Better Workforce

DOE is partnering with National Institute of Standards and Technology to enhance training and education programs for the energy efficiency workforce through a pilot program focusing on areas such as energy auditing and buildings operations.

Better State and Local Policies

Much of the authority to alter codes, regulations, and performance standards relating to commercial energy efficiency lies in the jurisdiction of states and localities. Through the Race to the Green program, DOE is requesting $100 million for competitive grants to state and local governments that propose innovative ways to update building codes and regulations and adopt policies and programs that attract private sector investment in commercial building energy efficiency efforts.

To learn more about the program, please visit Better Buildings Initiative.

Contact Green Project Marketing

To discuss how your company and project can benefit from our services as well if there are representation opportunities, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens, President, at (800) 260-6008 ext. 301 PST or mstevens[at]greenprojectmarketing[dot]com. Skype ID: GreenProjMktg.