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As part of the Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the Energy Department will recognize San Antonio area partners for their leadership in advancing energy efficiency. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) and Macy’s have committed to reducing their energy use by 20 percent across their entire respective building portfolios by 2020. By making energy efficiency upgrades to facilities across the city and demonstrating practices that can be replicated in the future, these partners are helping to save money and energy while also making San Antonio more sustainable for future generations.

“Better Buildings Challenge partners are improving their communities by cutting energy waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Through their leadership and ingenuity, these partners are moving American businesses and communities forward, saving money by saving energy while also demonstrating environmental responsibility.”

Today, Energy Department and city officials will tour SAHA’s Better Buildings Challenge showcase project, the Marie McGuire Loft Apartments. Through energy efficiency improvements such as high efficiency lighting, tenant energy efficiency education programs planned for residents, and a central water heating system, SAHA expects to save 10 percent on energy costs at the McGuire Lofts property this year, with the long-term goal to achieve 50 percent energy savings each year. Each unit is renovated with low-e windows, which help to reduce energy consumption by 70 percent during heating season and 85 percent during the cooling season, saving residents $100 annually. A new atrium also reduces lighting needs in adjacent housing units by 25 percent in the summer due to available daylight, low-e doors and windows. The housing authority is committed to cutting energy waste across 1.5 million square feet of multifamily housing across the city.

“At the San Antonio Housing Authority, we implement sustainability efforts as a standard in our construction and re-development of communities across San Antonio,” says David Nisivoccia, SAHA Interim President and CEO. “Our innovation in the restoration and building design of Lofts at Marie McGuire to surpass normal energy efficiency standards speaks volumes to SAHA’s commitment of creating dynamic communities where people thrive.”

The Department will also tour Macy’s Better Buildings Challenge showcase project, a department store at Ingram Park Mall. The retailer has reduced the store’s electricity use by 30 percent by replacing over 1,100 accent lights with LED lamps and installing a high-efficiency, single-ply membrane, cool, white roof. The store saved an additional 10 percent by replacing a multi-stack chiller with a new, super-efficient chiller, resulting in a total reduction in energy use of 40 percent.

“We have come a long way in making our company more efficient, less wasteful and greener –which is important to our customers, associates, shareholders and communities,” said Amy Hanson, the Macy’s, Inc. executive vice president who oversees sustainability activities. “In all, we have already implemented more than 100 new sustainability ideas over the past six years. But the more we do, the more we learn about opportunities for further improvement. We are more committed today than ever to pursuing new advances in sustainability and finding pragmatic steps we can take to become responsible stewards of our environment while also engaging our workforce and reducing costs.”

To date, Macy’s has already achieved 16 percent energy savings across its 170 million square feet of buildings nationwide by installing a centralized real-time energy management system, which provides a far more detailed view of energy use at each store than monthly utility bills and through close collaboration with field staff at individual stores.

As a cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners are deploying energy efficiency projects at more than 9,000 facilities, with more than 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent, compared with their baseline years.