City to recognize large commercial buildings for energy efficiency

What large commercial buildings in Minneapolis are making great strides on energy efficiency? Find out at the Building Energy Challenge Awards. Besides saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficient buildings can attract more tenants and increase real estate values. Making buildings more energy efficient can also drive jobs in renovation and engineering.

Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden will award high-performing large commercial buildings in Minneapolis and recognize the progress of buildings participating in the Minneapolis Building Energy Challenge. The challenge seeks to get tenants, managers and owners of large commercial buildings to take energy efficiency and renewable energy actions that reduce their greenhouse gas pollution by 15 percent (from the 2014 level) by 2020.

Building Energy Challenge Awards
2:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2
City Hall Rotunda, 350 S. Fifth St., Fourth Street entrance
RSVPs appreciated

The awardees have made significant upgrades that range from lighting retrofits to adjusting building heating and cooling schedules. The accomplishments realized by the award winners will be highlighted at the ceremony and can inspire energy-saving projects in other buildings.

The City of Minneapolis recognizes climate change as a serious problem to which human activities contribute heavily. The commercial-industrial sector contributed almost half of the total citywide greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 with building energy use as the main source. An analysis released earlier this year of the energy use of 417 public and commercial buildings in Minneapolis revealed that those buildings have the combined potential to save $27 million in energy costs per year and avoid more than 120,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing their energy efficiency to reduce consumption by 15 percent.

The City adopted its Commercial Building Benchmarking and Transparency ordinance in 2013. This ordinance requires large buildings to track and disclose their energy consumption.

The Building Energy Challenge

All buildings subject to the benchmarking ordinance may participate in the Building Energy Challenge and are eligible for milestone awards. Buildings can qualify as challenge leaders by publicly committing to a 15 percent greenhouse gas reduction.

The Building Energy Challenge aligns with the goals and activities of the Clean Energy Partnership, and the challenge and ordinance both support the goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan.