Top executives from 19 commercial real estate companies met with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials in New York City to discuss plans to dramatically reduce the sector’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The meeting officially launched DOE’s Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance (CREEA), a partnership of commercial real estate owners and operators who have volunteered to work with DOE to make lasting change in the energy consumption of commercial real estate buildings in the United States. Currently, commercial buildings account for 18 percent of the nation’s energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

“The deployment of new energy-efficient technologies and adoption by both public and private sectors are vital to achieving substantial change in building energy use throughout the U.S.,” said Scott Hine, acting program manager of DOE’s Building Technologies Program. “This collaboration will help speed the adoption of high-performance, energy-efficient buildings by the commercial real estate sector.”

CREEA links building owners and operators with applicable research and technologies being developed at DOE’s National Laboratories. It is the second energy alliance launched by the DOE in the commercial buildings sector. The Retailer Energy Alliance, with members such as Walmart, Target and Macy’s, was launched in 2008.

These commercial energy alliances serve as national forums to share best practices and practical experiences in energy efficiency. For instance, the Retailer Energy Alliance has held two supplier summits where building owners, operators and suppliers worked on solutions for achieving dramatic energy reductions. The alliances also serve as a collective buying voice for the industry to encourage building material suppliers to create more energy-efficient equipment.