Energy efficiency meets Reality TV

Companies usually don’t allow managers from other businesses to poke around their facilities, with television cameras no less, and criticize how they do things.

But that is just what happens in “Better Buildings Challenge Swap,” a reality-video series produced by the Energy Department in which two companies give each other an up-close look at their in-house energy uses and practices. The first season, with three episodes, stars Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc., and has more than 400,000 hits on YouTube.

Each episode is produced in the faux-dramatic style typical of competition-based reality television series. The two evaluating teams, comprising three members from each company, are free to roam about the other’s operation, take notes and issue judgments. Afterward, both sides join around a table to discuss what it thinks the other is doing right—and where it could improve.

The results can be revealing, sometimes embarrassingly so. But, the Energy Department hopes, productive as well.

Read the full story and watch the videos. (Wall Street Journal)