Milwaukee County has entered two of its buildings, representing over 440,000 square feet of office space, into the “Better Buildings Challenge-Milwaukee,” a comprehensive energy efficiency program that provides all of the tools and resources that building owners and property managers need to effectively develop and implement energy efficiency projects in their buildings. By participating in this City of Milwaukee program, the County aims to reduce energy costs, improve services, and increase government transparency. The program’s objectives also include making energy efficiency retrofits easy, affordable, and compelling for commercial building owners and managers.
“Milwaukee’s Better Buildings Challenge complements our long-standing efforts to be more sustainable,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “By optimizing energy performance in our buildings, we can help to ensure that essential services are available to our community now and in the future. Using less energy also helps Milwaukee County reduce greenhouse gas emissions from building operations. This supports the County’s commitment to the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Between 2009 and 2015, Milwaukee County implemented more than $9.2 million in energy-saving upgrades in its buildings. Energy use in County buildings is down by about 11 percent versus 2014. In 2016, Wisconsin's Focus on Energy recognized Milwaukee County with the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award. “As a show of our support, we have entered two of Milwaukee County’s most critical buildings into the Better Buildings Challenge, the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center and Vel R. Phillips Youth and Family Justice Center,” said County Executive Abele. “We want visitors to these buildings to know that the County is a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency.”
Over the past decade, Milwaukee County has implemented over $1 million in energy efficiency improvements at the two buildings. The upgrades, which have included building envelope, lighting and HVAC upgrades, as well as the addition of a solar-powered domestic water heating system, are saving taxpayers an estimated $200,000 in energy costs per year.
“We are thrilled that Milwaukee County is participating in the Better Buildings Challenge,” said City of Milwaukee Environmental Sustainability Director, Erick Shambarger. “And we challenge every commercial building owner in Milwaukee to work with the program to cut their energy use so we can collectively improve our environment.”