Knoxville Joins Energy-Saving Better Buildings Challenge

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Joins Energy-Saving Better Buildings Challenge

Posted: 07/11/2012
Mayor Madeline Rogero, Tim Butler - Technical Project Officer from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Mary Stephens-Bogert - Convention Center Manager participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning to mark the completion of a solar array at the Knoxville Convention Center

Additionally, Mayor Madeline Rogero announced the City of Knoxville's participation in the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge. It is a national 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.

"Knoxville is proud to be a Department of Energy Better Building Challenge Partner, because we've found that leadership in energy efficiency is good for the environment and good for taxpayers," Mayor Rogero said. "We are the first city in Tennessee to take up this challenge, and I invite our local corporate and civic leaders to join the City in this effort."

The City's goal under the program is to improve energy efficiency in 2,063,961 square feet of its public buildings by 2020. City Council approved the City's participation in the program last month.

Much of the necessary work to meet the goal is already underway as part of the City's contract with Ameresco, an energy-services company that has developed an energy-efficiency plan for the City's 99 public buildings and other facilities. A ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning for a solar array at the Knoxville Convention Center marked the completion of one component of Ameresco's work.

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.

"By accepting the Better Buildings Challenge, Knoxville is leading by example," said Susanna Sutherland, manager of the City's Office of Sustainability. "This is an important step toward a sustainable future for the City and the region."

For more information on the program, please visit http://www4.eere.energy.gov/challenge/.