“Energy efficiency has the cost-effective potential to meet about 20 percent of projected U.S. commercial energy needs by 2020 as well as 20 percent of U.S. industrial energy needs, collectively saving organizations in each sector about $40 billion annually and avoiding significant emissions of CO2” (Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy, July 2009, McKinsey and Company).
In an effort to tap into those savings, Arlington County has joined the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is to improve the efficiency of American commercial and institutional buildings and industrial plants by 20 percent or more by 2020. By participating in this Challenge, Arlington County commits to continuing its energy management practice of ‘continuous improvement’ within its building inventory (and to encourage the private sector to participate in the Challenge as well). Arlington’s goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2020 (using 2009 as a baseline year). Arlington will work to achieve this through cost-effective upgrades with new technologies, effective operations and maintenance of facilities, and transparent data sharing practices through building energy report cards on the County’s website and energy performance labels in building lobbies.