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BRIDGE Named as Inaugural Better Buildings Challenge Partner by DOE and HUD

Better Buildings Challenge Expands to Multifamily Housing to Boost U.S. Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON, DC, December 3, 2013—The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the expansion of the President’s Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing.

DOE and HUD recognize the energy efficiency commitment that BRIDGE Housing is making as a Better Buildings Challenge Partner. BRIDGE, a leading nonprofit developer of affordable housing on the west coast, creates and manages a range of high quality, affordable homes for working families and seniors.

About a quarter of U.S. households live in multifamily housing units and spend about $40 billion on energy costs each year. Making these housing units 20 percent more energy efficient would save more than $7 billion per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE and the HUD are partnering with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste and help families save money.

These leaders also broadly share successful strategies that maximize energy efficiency in multifamily housing, contributing actual energy data to verify the energy savings of implemented energy upgrades. Through the Better Buildings Challenge expansion announced today, BRIDGE and 49 other multifamily partners--representing roughly 200,000 units and over 190 million square feet--have committed to cutting energy use by 20 percent in ten years.

“The Better Buildings Challenge supplements our existing commitment under the Big Reach, an initiative by the members of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future,” said Cynthia A. Parker, BRIDGE Housing President & CEO. “The initiative focuses on integrating energy efficiency into all aspects of our affordable housing development and operations—including nearly five million square feet across BRIDGE’s portfolio,” she added.

“By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, BRIDGE Housing has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods.”

“Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge are leading by example, demonstrating their commitment to providing more efficient and comfortable homes for their tenants that save money and energy,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient and foster greater economic growth.”

For more information about BRIDGE Housing, visit www.bridgehousing.com.

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About the Better Buildings Challenge
Launched in December of 2011 by President Obama, the Better Buildings Initiative takes a broad multi-strategy approach to accelerate energy savings through leadership, innovation, partnerships and demonstrated best practices.  The Better Buildings Challenge is the central leadership initiative through which organizations of all types -- local and state governments, schools, business, and manufacturers -- commit to portfolio-wide energy savings goals and to share successful strategies that help achieve these goals and overcome financial and technical barriers in the marketplace. Utilities and financial firms also commit to focus resources on building improvements. Better Building Challenge multifamily partners are leaders in market rate multifamily housing, public housing authorities, and affordable housing. Visit http://www.eere.energy.gov/challenge for more information on the organizations participating in the Better Buildings Challenge for multifamily housing and a detailed description of their commitments.