A new initiative to provide local building owners with additional resources to reduce their energy usage was announced Monday by Mayor Mitch Landrieu..

The Downtown NOLA Energy Challenge is designed to help building owners lower their operating expenses and better manage their energy use. The challenge is open to all buildings in the downtown area, including large and small commercial structures, hotels, retail establishments and apartment developments.

The challenge is being run in partnership with the Downtown Development District and the City Energy Project. It will wrap up in May.

Participating businesses can access free technical support and training to optimize their building's performance. Businesses also will be eligible to win prizes and awards.

“I am proud to engage our downtown business owners to reduce their energy footprint,” Landrieu said. “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.”