President Obama Ramps up Effort to Upgrade Buildings to Save Energy and Reduce Pollution

Media Contacts

Environment Connecticut Research & Policy Center

Washington DC — President Obama, joined by former President Clinton and business leaders, today announced the next steps in the Better Buildings Initiative to unleash private sector investments in energy efficiency improvements for our nation’s buildings.  

The president said that the $2 billion federal investment in upgrades to public buildings will create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in energy costs over the next decade, at no additional cost to taxpayers. In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. 

“Our homes and businesses currently consume 40 percent of the energy used in the United States, and the potential for efficiency in buildings is tremendous. The investments announced today by President Obama and other leaders will ensure that small business owners, schools, and hospitals can improve the energy performance of their buildings, helping to keep dollars in the pockets of those who need it most,” said Courtney Abrams, Federal Clean Energy Advocate at Environment Connecticut Research & Policy Center.

“The Obama Administration understands that making commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient will help will help move America toward a cleaner, more secure future,” continued Abrams. “The Better Buildings Challenge has fostered a dynamic partnership between state and federal governments and the private sector as well as a commitment to efficiency as the cheapest, cleanest alternative to dirty and dangerous sources of energy, like fossil fuels.”   

“We can achieve the President’s goal using off-the-shelf technologies; forward-thinking builders have already constructed thousands of super-efficient buildings all around the country,” added Emily Fischer, Federal Energy Efficiency Associate at Environment Connecticut Research & Policy Center. “Most buildings last for decades, so investing in energy efficiency locks in energy, pollution and money savings for years to come.”