'Better' get on it: Oregon buildings on track to meet DOE's goals

Retrofits to the Beaverton Library will help save 20 percent in energy costs by the year 2020.

Retrofits to the Beaverton Library will help save 20 percent in energy costs by the year 2020.

Two area jurisdictions and a schools district received shout-outs from the Department of Energy for their involvement with a federal building initiative.

The cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro, along with the Portland Public Schools district, contributed to the $58 million in annual energy savings recorded by participants in the DOE’s Better Building Challenge. The drive hopes to slash energy use in commercial and industrial buildings by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Hillsboro’s structures showed a 9 percent improvement since 2009 while Portland’s schools have cut their energy use by 10 percent since 2009.

Commercial and industrial buildings use half of the nation’s expended energy and account for 40 percent of the country’s carbon emissions.

The three area participants are among the 110-plus groups involved with the Better Building Challenge. Some 7,700 facilities are attempting to improve their performance through the program.

In Beaverton, the city’s library recently retro-commissioned its lighting and heating controls. That’s expected to save about $23,000 yearly. The City of Hillsboro is also renovating one of its two libraries.

Portland’s schools is making mechanical upgrades and improvements related to energy efficiency at Benson High School. The move will help the building slash its energy use by 15 percent, which equates to $37,000 each year.


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