$4 billion US energy upgrade boost

energy efficiency, energy upgrades, clean energy The US government has announced $4  billion of energy upgrades in buildings to improve their energy efficiency

The energy upgrades will be financed through a 50-50 public-private sector split. The US government is to make a $2 billion commitment through the issuance of a presidential memorandum. The White House said the memorandum will finance the energy upgrades of federal and private buildings with long term energy savings being used to finance up-front costs, with US taxpayers footing none of the cost. The remaining $2 billion will be stumped up by the private sector, with 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders already committed to providing the combined funds. The energy upgrades will be carried out over the next two years.

The initiative aims to improve energy efficiency in 1.6 billion square feet of federal and private buildings, such as offices, hospitals, universities and school buildings by a minimum of 20 percent by 2020. The announcement follows a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting earlier this year to invest $500 million of private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

The announcement was made jointly by President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton, alongside more than 60 individuals representing associations and the private sector, as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. This initiative looks to save American businesses in the region of $40 billion through energy upgrades over the next decade.

A ‘real difference’

Speaking earlier this month, President Barack Obama said of the $4 billion package:

“Upgrading the energy efficiency of America’s buildings is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution, and create good jobs right now.  But we can’t wait for Congress to act.  So today, I’m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years – at no up-front cost to the taxpayer.  Coupled with today’s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future.”

Former president Clinton concurred, adding that retrofits can make a “real difference”:

“Investments in building retrofits and energy efficiency can make a real difference in the American economy, by creating jobs, growing our industries, improving businesses’ bottom lines, reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations. I am proud the Clinton Foundation has been able to help develop and grow President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC), and that so many members of the Clinton Global Initiative have joined this Challenge. Working together, I am pleased the commitments to the BBC have grown from the initial $500 million and 300 million square feet that we announced in June at CGI America, to the $2 billion investment with over 1 billion square feet of retrofitted space that we are announcing today.”

Read more:

Bookmark and Share

About admin