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Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans | Mayor's Office of Resilience and Sustainability

The 2019 NOLA Energy Challenge is no longer open.  This page is archived for reference.


Saving energy = Saving money!

It’s time for New Orleans properties to start saving money and saving energy!  Buildings can be more competitive and increase their bottom line by better managing their energy use.  

Building owners, operators and managers are invited to join a friendly contest among peers to start measuring and monitoring energy data.

The NOLA Energy Challenge will engage local buildings in the first steps towards reducing utility bills – that translates into cost savings, improved equipment function, fewer maintenance issues, greater occupant comfort, and higher property values. 

With technical support and free training provided, participants can improve their bottom line while competing for prizes and awards.

What is the Challenge?

The NOLA Energy Challenge is a friendly, voluntary competition amongst all buildings in New Orleans to help them understand their energy use and save energy.  These types of Energy Challenges have helped buildings lower their utility bills in cities as diverse as Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and many more.

Who is eligible?

Whether your building is a large or small commercial structure, a hotel, a retail establishment, a condo or apartment development, you can join the NOLA Energy Challenge to become more energy efficient.  All Orleans Parish properties are eligible, except single-family residential and doubles. 

How does it work?

The mere act of measuring has an impact on raising awareness.  If we track the performance of a building like we track the miles per gallon on a car, we gain power that impacts our economic decisions.

Benchmarking is the monitoring and measuring of energy use, which gives building engineers and facilities operators valuable information about how the air conditioning, heating, lighting and other systems are functioning. 

Participants in the Challenge will track their energy use starting in 2019, using Portfolio Manager – the free online database that is the national standard for calculating ENERGY STAR scores.  This creates an opportunity for intervention, including equipment upgrades, building automation system tweaking, and other energy efficiency improvements.  The end result is energy savings and lower monthly expenses – all based on the power of information!

At the close of the contest period, leaders in each sector (and special innovators!) will be recognized, with opportunities for further engagement.

What are the benefits and rewards?

Buildings can lower their operating expenses and increase their bottom line by better managing their energy use.  Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to make buildings more competitive.  By reducing expenditures on energy, buildings can allocate those dollars towards other expenditures or longer-term investments.

Energy efficiency is also good for the local economy, as is creates quality jobs that can’t be outsourced.  All these benefits translate into a win-win for building operators and owners.  

Who won the 2018 Challenge?

The first challenge was the “Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge”, which was a competition for downtown properties to benchmark and reduce their energy usage. We had 40 buildings participate in the 2018 Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge, encompassing more than 17 million square feet. It was such a success in helping large buildings benchmark their energy use, we decided to do it again! 

Congratulations to our first Energy Challenge Winners:

  • Best Energy Star score: Edward Hebert Federal Building (General Service Administration)
  • Greatest Energy Reduction: US Custom House (General Service Administration)
  • Greatest Energy Reduction Plan: 400 Poydras Tower (Hertz Investment Properties)
  • Greatest Tenant/Occupant Engagement Program: Tulane University downtown campus
  • Overall Sustainability Champion / Leader: New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center