Energy Savings Earn National Recognition for City of Hillsboro, Hillsboro School District
The U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing the City of Hillsboro’s long-standing work to reduce energy and water consumption at City buildings and facilities.
In its 2018 Better Building Progress Report, the Department of Energy highlights the City of Hillsboro’s achievements for reducing its energy footprint by 26 percent since 2009 — the greatest improvement among all public agencies in the nation — as well as the City’s work to reduce water use by 11 percent since 2012.
The report also highlights the Hillsboro School District’s work to reduce energy consumption by 16 percent since 2014 as ranking among the top 10 energy-saving school districts in the United States.
The Better Buildings Challenge is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy that supports energy use and cost reduction for public and private organizations across the county. Since 2011, the Challenge has supported 53 local governments’ work to reduce energy use by a cumulative 67 trillion BTUs worth $647 million. If all local governments in the U.S. improved their energy performance by 20 percent, it could save $6 billion annually.
The City of Hillsboro’s leadership to reduce energy use by 26 percent at City facilities since 2009, tops the list of public-sector partners around the nation who have accepted the challenge.
City of Hillsboro facilities have also become more efficient in the use of water, having reduced water consumption by 11 percent since 2012 — also saving the additional energy needed to treat and deliver water.
Hillsboro has achieved these gains through focused, goal-driven measures and investments in City facilities, such as numerous upgrades to more efficient interior and exterior lighting, building energy controls, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, and wiser use of energy and water by employees.
“We are not resting on our laurels,” said Sustainability Manager Peter Brandom. “Having achieved our 20 percent energy goal four years early, we have established a new Challenge goal to reduce energy by an additional 20 percent by 2025 as compared to a 2015 baseline. And we are also making new facilities more energy and water efficient.”
According to Brandom, the future Hillsboro Community Center at 53rd Avenue will be designed on a “Path to Net Zero” with a very aggressive target for energy and water efficiency. In addition, Hillsboro is pushing private sector partners to build as energy- and water-efficient as possible.
In 2016, the City of Hillsboro formed the High-Performance Building Partnership for new development that encourages above-code construction. The effort aims to save owners of new homes in Hillsboro millions of dollars in energy costs.
In that same time, the Hillsboro School District has reduced energy consumption at schools by 16 percent since 2014, placing it among the top energy-saving school districts and universities in the United States.