As a part of the Administration’s effort to help cut energy waste, the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will recognize the Denver Housing Authority and the cities of Denver and Arvada, Colorado for their leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge. Altogether, these organizations are cutting energy waste across 10 million square feet of commercial buildings, municipal facilities, and multifamily affordable housing facilities. This afternoon, Energy Department and city officials will join HUD Secretary Julián Castro on a tour of North Lincoln Homes before also viewing showcase projects in Denver and Arvada.

“Better Buildings Challenge partners in Denver and Arvada are demonstrating that reducing a building’s energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions helps to save money by saving energy while also protecting the environment,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The strategies and practices utilized by these partners can be replicated across the U.S. to cut energy waste and create more sustainable communities.”

“The investments that we’ve seen at the North Lincoln Homes are already creating a 20 percent reduction in their overall energy consumption, and I commend the Denver Housing Authority for their commitment to creating more sustainable communities,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “HUD looks forward to working with all our local partners to build a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous nation for ages to come.”

At North Lincoln Homes, the Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) Better Buildings Challenge showcase project, the DHA has upgraded 665 homes with solar PV systems across the 57,000 square foot affordable housing project and is also generating its own solar energy through a unique power purchase agreement (PPA). In total, DHA has installed over 10,000 solar panels, and with efficiency measures has reduced energy use by 19 percent, saving $12,000 annually at the North Lincoln Homes site.

“Participation in the Better Buildings Challenge was a natural fit for the Denver Housing Authority.  At DHA we have prioritized energy efficiency and sustainability in all areas of our affordable housing portfolio.  We use creative public-private partnerships, such as Power Purchase Agreements and Energy Performance Contracts, to realize over $2.5 million in annual cost savings while simultaneously reducing reliance on fossil fuels and vehicle miles traveled,” said Ismael Guerrero, DHA Executive Director.  “We are excited to demonstrate the positive impact of green investments in multifamily residential buildings and learn from others around the country.”

Later, the Energy Department will also tour the city of Denver’s Department of Human Services Castro Building and the city of Arvada’s Police Department’s West Woods Community Station, both of which are Better Buildings Challenge showcase projects achieving energy savings greater than 30 percent.

A partner in the Better Buildings Challenge since 2011, the City of Denver has cut energy waste by 9 percent across a portfolio of seven million square feet. At its Department of Human Services Castro Building, the city has completed a number of retrofits resulting in annual energy savings of 36 percent and installed 30kW of solar photovoltaic panels. The building’s automation system has been upgraded, new high efficiency boilers installed, and variable frequency drivers on HVAC units allow greater control and synchronization. In addition, the Castro Building serves as a pilot site for interior LEDs as replacements for T8 fluorescent tubes as the city assesses lighting levels and gathers occupant feedback to determine how to upgrade indoor lighting systems in other city-owned buildings.

“Denver is proud of its partnership with the Department of Energy through the Better Buildings Challenge,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “Here at City Hall, we’ve made great strides to reduce the energy used across our government building portfolio and now lead all major American cities in the energy efficient effort. It is important to showcase how the Better Building Challenge’s combination of federal leadership and local actions can lead to more savings, more investment and a more secure energy future for all Americans.”

The City of Arvada has already made significant overall progress, as well, with an 8 percent reduction in energy use since 2009.  As part of the city’s Sustain Arvada program, Arvada has implemented a number of energy efficiency retrofits, including a combination of high performance lighting, envelope and equipment upgrades, resulting in an expected $6,500 in annual savings on the stations’ electricity and gas bills.

“We are very proud to be a participant in the Better Building Challenge, said Marc Williams, Mayor of Arvada. “The West Woods and Lake Arbor substations are signature examples of how we can embrace sustainable practices without sacrificing creativity, security, or efficiency. These buildings are true assets to our community.”

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, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties.

Learn more about Better Buildings Challenge partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others in the 2015 Progress Report.