On October 4, 2017, The City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO) and USGBC Wisconsin teamed up to host the first annual Better Buildings Challenge—Milwaukee (BBC-MKE) awards and celebration event, ReEnergize Milwaukee 2017.
The event took place about one year after the BBC-MKE expanded bundle program was launched in September 2016 to celebrate its success to date and to honor the BBC-MKE’s commitment to promoting its participants and recognizing their work in energy use reduction.
The City of Milwaukee became a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge in 2012, one year after President Obama launched the program, by pledging to reduce the energy use of the city’s building portfolio 20 percent by 2020. Milwaukee showed great leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge through developing a showcase project with the Milwaukee Central Library and creating an implementation model for other cities to replicate in the form of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.
The Better Buildings Challenge—Milwaukee received recognition for its initiative and a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2015 to further develop a comprehensive energy efficiency program for private buildings that would streamline customer experience from start to finish. The city and its partners aim to impact more than 200 buildings and now offer resources that include the Energy Star Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool, free energy assessments to eligible buildings and financing incentives, including Focus on Energy.
USGBC Wisconsin event display.
ReEnergize Milwaukee 2017 was held at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center and the Bucks Preview Center. USGBC Wisconsin Director of Outreach Korinne Haeffel welcomed attendees, and ECO Director Erick Shambarger spoke of the program's success. Guest speakers included the mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, who gave an address on behalf of the city, and Anna Garcia, the U.S. Department of Energy Director of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs.
Anna Garcia speaks at the event.
Five award categories and a general recognition rating were created to showcase leaders in the movement, to re-energize and strengthen our greater community and to spur action in Milwaukee to make our buildings better. BBC-MKE participants and People’s Choice Award Candidates were featured at the event, and BBC-MKE partners—including USGBC Wisconsin, Downtown BID, MATC, M-WERC, Rivion, Franklin Energy and Focus on Energy—engaged attendees with relevant information and resources.