The Obama administration has announced 14 initial partners of its Better Buildings Challenge, part of the Better Buildings Initiative which was launched in February. Designed to increase the efficiency of commercial buildings by 20 percent while stimulating private sector investment in building upgrades, the Challenge encourages energy efficient operations by way of partnerships with corporations, universities, and state and local governments.

First-round Challenge partners will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy to collect and share energy savings data and strategies before additional partnerships are announced in the fall. Of the 14 new institutions, six are financial allies who pledge to provide financial products to help fund related projects. The Challenge also plans to incorporate service providers and other technology companies in the fall.

“The Better Buildings Challenge harnesses the creativity and ingenuity of leaders across the public and private sectors to ensure America leads the world in tapping the potential of saving energy to create jobs,” says Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Upgrading the energy performance of the built environment will cut waste, lower pollution, and spur market growth.”

Current commitments include Lend Lease’s proposed retrofit of 40,000 homes for military families and Transwestern’s plan to improve the energy efficiency of 78 million square feet of commercial real estate. Portfolio partners bring with them 260 million square feet of enrolled buildings and facilities, while financial allies have committed more than $575 million for financing energy efficiency projects in the next 18 months. Community partners are slated to bring in more than 47 million square feet of enrolled buildings and facilities, and up to $30 million in financing.

Portfolio Partners:
- Best Buy
- Green Sports Alliance
- Lend Lease
- Transwestern
- USAA Real Estate Company

Financial Allies:
- Abundant Power
- Citi
- Green Campus Partners LLC
- Metrus Energy
- Renewable Funding
- Transcend Equity

Community Partners:
- City of Atlanta
- City of Los Angeles
- Seattle 2030 District

For more information on the Better Buildings Challenge, visit