The first 10 companies and three U.S. cities have joined the US government’s energy efficiency Better Buildings Challenge, committing over $575 million to finance energy efficiency improvements on more than 307 million square feet of government and commercial structures.
was launched by President Barack Obama in February as part of the Better Buildings Initiative.
U.S. buildings accounted for nearly 40% of the entire U.S. economy’s energy use in 2010, equal to over $400 billion. Commercial and residential buildings will account for 40% of the U.S. carbon emissions this year, according to the Department of Energy.
“Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can’t afford not to take,” says Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
The initiative aims to improve the energy efficiency of the country’s commercial buildings by 20%, saving nearly $40 billion in annual energy costs.
Some of the partners involved in the project include:
The partners will provide data on the energy savings achieved in their projects and share their strategies, which will serve as models for saving energy and energy costs.
Another round of partnerships will be announced in the fall.