14 Initial Partners Join U.S. Better Buildings Challenge

THE US Government’s energy efficiency Better Buildings Challenge has been boosted by 14 companies and communities that have committed to the scheme.

The Better Building Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative and was launched earlier this year by U.S. President Barak Obama. The Initiative aims to encourage private sector investment in improving commercial building energy efficiency by 20 percent over the next ten years, with predicted savings of close to $40 billion in annual energy costs.

Best Buy, property services company Lend Lease, Green Sports Alliance, realtors Transwestern and USAA Real Estate Company were the first companies to sign up for the Challenge, and these four amongst them have committed more than 24 km2 of buildings and facilities for energy efficiency upgrades.

Companies and communities announcing commitments include Lend Lease, USAA Real Estate Company and the cities of Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta to name a few, all will provide data on their energy savings and share their efficiency strategies, which will serve as models to save money by saving energy.

Additionally, a number of financial organizations have agreed to support the challenge by helping to provide financing for energy efficiency projects over the next 18 months. Transcend Equity, Citi, Green Campus Partners, Abundant Power, Metrus Energy and Renewable Funding have combined to offer over $575 million to finance energy efficiency projects.

"Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can't afford not to take," said Secretary Chu. "It will create jobs, reduce energy waste, save our businesses and institutions money, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

"The Better Buildings Challenge harnesses the creativity and ingenuity of leaders across the public and private sectors to ensure America leads the world in tapping the potential of saving energy to create jobs" said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. "Upgrading the energy performance of the built environment will cut waste, lower pollution and spur market growth."

"The Better Buildings Challenge will make American businesses more competitive in the global economy by saving them billions in energy costs - savings they can spend on growing, expanding and hiring new workers," said Laura Tyson, member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and Professor of Global Management at UC Berkeley.

"It will help put construction workers and contractors back to work and it will increase the production of energy-efficient products at U.S. manufacturing facilities. The first round of partners committing to the Better Buildings Challenge today are taking an important step to support job creation across the country," Tyson concluded.

Picture: White House from Washington Monument by Roger4336

Tuesday 5th July 2011

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