Mayor Mike McGinn joined former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu in Chicago today for the announcement that Seattle is one of three cities selected to be an early partner in President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge.
The Better Buildings Challenge aims to increase the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the United States 20 percent by 2020. The other two cities named as early partners of the Better Buildings Challenge are Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Today’s announcement further cements Seattle’s role as a national leader in energy efficiency.
Last year, Seattle was one of only 25 communities nationally to receive a $20 million Better Buildings grant from the US Department of Energy to implement energy efficiency upgrades in six building sectors. Seattle’s grant program, Community Power Works, is leveraging the federal funding into nearly $100 million of local investment.
Seattle’s connection to the Better Buildings Challenge began in February when the Mayor announced in the State of the City address that Seattle would accept the President’s challenge to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent.
Since then, a group of civic leaders have been working with the White House, U.S. Department of Energy, and Clinton Climate Initiative to formalize the partnership. The Seattle 2030 District quickly emerged as the best local organization to partner with the Better Buildings Challenge because of the District’s complementary goals, many public and private partners, and robust set of tools to help building owners achieve energy efficiency.
“The Seattle 2030 District is a model of public-private collaboration that will save energy, generate local economic activity, and pave the way for job creation in the green economy,” said McGinn. “The partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge will accelerate Seattle’s ability to meet our local energy efficiency goals and will showcase our work as a model for others around the country to follow.”
The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative that President Obama launched early this year to catalyze investment in commercial building upgrades and spur clean energy innovations that save money and energy. Partner cities will work with the U.S. Department of Energy on local projects that pilot new energy efficiency models, develop financing partnerships, and test innovative technology.
“I am so proud that Seattle continues to lead the way in creating jobs and boosting the economy through energy efficiency,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Innovative efforts like the Better Buildings Challenge and the Seattle 2030 District are going to keep Seattle at the forefront of this critical and growing industry.”
Learn more about the Seattle 2030 District.
Learn more about the Better Buildings Challenge.
Read City of Seattle’s 2030 District Founding Member Letter.
Read Mayor Mike MicGinn’s 2011 State of the City Address.