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In August 2015, the City of Milwaukee received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy to help local buildings reduce their energy use 20% over the next decade. In September 2016, Milwaukee launched its enhanced Better Buildings Challenge program. The Better Buildings Challenge provides building owners with all the resources they need to develop an energy efficiency project and operate more efficiently. To date:

  1. 48 non-City buildings have pledged to reduce their energy use 20% over ten years.
  2. 27 free energy assessments have provided buildings with recommendations to help them operate at the optimum level – free assessments are available to 73 more buildings.
  3. $385,500 in potential annual savings identified.
  4. The potential saved energy represents carbon emissions equivalent to taking 472 cars off the road for one year.

In June 2017, the Better Buildings Challenge teamed up with the U.S. Green Building Council at their Transformation Awards to promote the launch of profiles of BBC participants on the program website.

The Better Buildings Challenge also gave out the People’s Choice Award to recognize participant successes to date.  1433 North Water Street took home the prize. The Better Buildings Challenge program will hold its first stand-alone recognition event in October 2017 to celebrate participant successes.

The City’s PACE financing program continues to offer financing for commercial building owners. The program has financed eight projects totaling over $13 million in construction.  The program helped finance the restoration of the Wally Schmidt Tavern – the home of the new Tandem restaurant – which was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio.

View this article as recently published by and on the ECO City of Milwaukee website here.