An energy efficiency challenge program is a city-led voluntary initiative that asks representatives of private sector buildings to make a public commitment, often to the mayor, to reduce energy waste within a defined timeframe. This commitment should be ambitious but achievable, requiring participating buildings to push their sustainability efforts farther and faster and cooperate with their peers by sharing stories of their successes and difficulties.

The impact of an effective challenge program is more than getting buildings to save energy, though this is a major benefit. Done right, a challenge program can be the start of a robust energy efficiency platform, set the stage for energy policy, and highlight the city’s commitment to a cleaner, healthier environment.

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