Mayor Landrieu Announces City’s First 'Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge' To Reduce Usage

Participating businesses will have access to free technical support and training and will be able to win prizes.

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge, a competition between business owners across downtown New Orleans to reduce their energy usage.

“I am proud to engage our downtown business owners to reduce their energy footprint,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “For the past eight years, this administration has been committed to being resilient and creating an energy-efficient city, and this challenge is proof positive of that work.”

The Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge will help buildings lower their operating expenses and increase their bottom line by better managing their energy use. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Buildings that measure and track energy data have been able to get 6-14 percent in energy savings on average over several years, resulting in significant cost savings. 

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In partnership with the Downtown Development District (DDD) and the City Energy Project (CEP), the challenge provides building owners with a number of resources and tools to save energy.

CEP Co-Director Christina Angelides said, "Cutting energy waste in buildings will help owners and tenants save money, create local jobs, and help make New Orleans more resilient. The City Energy Project is proud to be supporting mayor Landrieu and the city, and to be leading local building owners and tenants in capturing the full potential of energy efficiency to make this a reality.”

The challenge is open to all buildings in the downtown area, including but not limited to large and small commercial structures, hotels, retail establishments, and apartment developments.

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Participating businesses will have access to free technical support and training to optimize building performance. Additionally, businesses will be able to win various prizes and awards.

DDD President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Weigle said, “Better energy management directly impacts a property’s return on investment. The poorest performing buildings use three to seven times the energy of the highest performing buildings. In addition, efficient buildings achieve an average of 10 percent higher occupancy rates and 10 percent higher rents over inefficient buildings. The DDD is excited about helping its members achieve greater economic competitiveness through energy efficiency.” 

Green Coast Enterprises Chief Operating Officer Jackie Dadakis said, “It makes sense for our building, the Pythian Apartments, to participate in the Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge in order to keep our utility costs and the tenants’ utility costs affordable.  Plus, energy efficiency means our tenants are breathing cleaner air, our HVAC systems are running as needed and not being over taxed.”

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 The Challenge ends in May 2018. Awards will be given at the September 2018 Downtown Development District Awards ceremony.

The City is also working to improve energy efficiency in buildings across New Orleans working toward the climate action goal to reduce energy use in municipal operations by 15 percent by 2020.  Through data tracking, energy savings opportunities have been identified for 92 municipal properties including NORD and NOPD sites.

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