The city of Philadelphia is joining a race to the bottom. It’s about reducing energy use in commercial and public buildings.
After spending two years establishing energy benchmarks in 1,900 Philadelphia buildings, Mayor Michael Nutter wants to make them more efficient. He estimated the savings could add up to $100 million a year.
“Energy efficiency can, in fact, become a competitive business advantage here in Philadelphia,” he said. “This is real money, real savings going to the bottom line.”
To get spark participation in the effort, Philadelphia is sponsoring an energy-reduction race as part of the U.S. Energy Department’s “Better Buildings Challenge.” The three top-performing buildings will win $5,000 prizes.
Efficiency isn’t sexy, but it can make a big difference, said Kathleen Hogan of the U.S. Department of Energy.
“We can significantly cut down on energy use with what we like to say is our fastest, cheapest, cleanest energy resource and that is energy efficiency,” she said.