Country:United States
Policy status:In Force
Date Effective:2011
Policy Type:Information and Education, Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D), Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D)>Research programme , Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D)>Research programme >Technology deployment and diffusion
Policy Target:Buildings
Agency:Department of Energy (DOE)

Better Buildings aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency. The Energy Department is currently pursuing strategies within 4 interrelated key areas to catalyze change and investment in energy efficiency:


  • Developing innovative, replicable solutions with market leaders
  • Making energy efficiency investment easier
  • Developing a skilled clean energy workforce
  • Leading by example in federal government.

Major initiative under the Better Buildings Initiative include:


Better Buildings Accelerators are designed to demonstrate specific innovative policies and approaches, which will accelerate investment in energy efficiency upon successful demonstration. Initiated under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan in 2013, each Accelerator is a targeted, short term, partner-focused activity designed to address persistent barriers that stand in the way of greater efficiency.

Current accelerators include:

  • Smart Labs
  • Zero Energy Districts
  • Clean Energy for Low Income Communities
  • Combined Heat and Power for Efficiency
  • Data Centers
  • Energy Savings Performance Contracting
  • Home Energy Information
  • Home Upgrade Program
  • Industrial Superior Energy Performance
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Wastewater Infrastructure
  • Energy Data


Better Buildings Alliance - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Better Buildings Alliance to bring together leaders from the nation’s commercial building industry to share and advance solutions in energy efficiency. Through the Alliance, building owners, operators, and managers in different market sectors voluntarily work with DOE’s network of research and technical experts to develop and deploy innovative, cost-effective, energy-saving solutions that lead to advanced technologies, more profitable businesses, and better buildings. There are now more than 200 companies and organizations in the alliance representing more than 10 billion square feet of real estate. These partners have identified and implemented a variety of energy efficiency solutions and achieved substantial energy savings in their buildings.

Better Buildings Challenge - Leading CEOs and executives of U.S. companies, universities, school districts, multifamily organizations, and state and local government are taking the Better Buildings Challenge and committing to reduce the energy used across their building portfolios by 20 percent or more over ten years and transparently showcase the solutions they use and the results they achieve to help spur billions in new investment and savings in commercial buildings, multifamily housing, and industrial plants.
Better Plants Program - The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants Program and Challenge (Better Plants) is working with leading manufacturers to improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector. Better Plants is part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, a multi-sector effort with the overarching goal of significantly improving the energy efficiency of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings in the United States. Through the Better Plants program, manufacturers set a specific goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25% over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations. Industrial organizations may also commit to the higher-level Better Plants Challenge and share their energy performance data and energy-efficiency solutions—in addition to setting an energy-saving goal—so that many more companies can see a pathway to savings.
Better Communities Alliance - The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Communities Alliance (BCA) is a partnership that brings together public and private sector leaders to deliver energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable energy solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for all Americans. The BCA provides local governments with integrated expertise, resources, and peer-networking opportunities from across the government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private sectors. As part of the department’s Better Buildings Initiative, BCA is a national leadership program calling on companies, state and local governments, manufacturers, universities and schools, to make substantial commitments to improve the energy usage in buildings, homes, and plants to save money and increase competitiveness.

25 Energy Efficiency Recommendations Applied:Buildings

Last modified: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:03:09 CET