September 26, 2016 | IMT

Contact: Katie Weeks,, 202.525.32883, x306

Landmark DOE Initiative to Ignite Clean Energy Action in 60 Cities and Counties Across the Country

Washington, DC (Sept. 27, 2016)—Announced by the White House during Smart Cities Week, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a groundbreaking collaborative effort among local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress and leadership across the country. The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is one of 60 partners and affiliates joining the initiative.

“IMT seeks to create market change that drives stronger demand for and recognition of energy-efficient buildings. In this work, DOE is a critical partner,” said IMT Executive Director Cliff Majersik. “IMT is excited to build on our current collaborative efforts with DOE to bring the Department's resources to local governments. For example, we currently work in partnership with DOE to incorporate feedback from cities in the development of the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform; to improve energy code compliance at the local level; and to find new ways to engage tenants and landlords to make their buildings and spaces more efficient.  We look forward to this new opportunity to further help both city governments and the private sector advance innovative and productive energy efficiency solutions.”

With 87% of total U.S. energy to be consumed in cities by 2030, America’s local governments are stepping up to the challenge. Through the BCA, city and county leaders are making commitments to reduce the wasted energy in homes and buildings, expand renewable energy and sustainable transportation options for their residents and businesses, harness new energy-saving technologies, and invest in resilient power systems and community infrastructure.

“Cities and counties are already centers for clean energy innovation across the United States,” said Franklin Orr, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy. “Through the Better Communities Alliance, DOE is committed to further supporting America’s local governments and working with leaders from the public and private sectors to deliver energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation solutions that create cleaner and more prosperous communities for millions of Americans.”

As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will support IMT in its work to help communities become healthier, smarter, and more economically competitive via energy-efficient buildings. In addition, the BCA will deliver clean energy resources and technical assistance to local governments, and improve community access to DOE’s existing clean energy expertise and resources. It will also create actionable dialogues and peer exchange between public and private partners to identify opportunities for collaboration and progress.

There are 34 local governments committed to the BCA, eight of whom are also participants of the City Energy Project, a joint initiative of IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council that seeks to improve the energy efficiency of large commercial buildings in 10 U.S. cities. Participating cities (with City Energy Project participants in bold) are:

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Broward County, Florida
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Chula Vista, California
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Huntington Beach, California
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Kauai County, Hawaii
  • King County, Washington
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Los Angeles County, California
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New York, New York
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Roanoke, Virginia
  • Rochester, New York
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Sonoma County, California
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Will County, Illinois

The BCA is also partnering with 26 public and private organizations, including IMT. These BCA affiliates will help identify specific opportunities for collaboration with DOE and local governments.

  • Alliance to Save Energy
  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • Arup
  • C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • Cityzenith
  • Emerald Cities Collaborative
  • Energy Foundation
  • Global Cool Cities Alliance
  • Governing Institute
  • Hatch
  • ICLEI USA – Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Institute for Market Transformation
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • International City/County Management Association
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Association of State Energy Officials
  • National League of Cities
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Philips Lighting
  • Smart Cities Council
  • STAR Communities
  • Surdna Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Solar Foundation
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network

The Better Communities Alliance is part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, which aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate successful strategies to drive energy efficiency. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs.

Learn more about the Better Communities Alliance here.


ABOUT IMT: The Institute for Market Transformation is a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency in buildings in the United States and abroad. Through activities including technical and market research, policy and program development and deployment, and the promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange, IMT seeks to ignite greater investment in a better built environment.


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