WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance to Save Energy applauds the White House announcement that the federal government and private sector are moving forward with energy efficiency upgrades to a broad swath of public- and private-sector buildings. Together, residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of all U.S. energy consumed. The president's announcement today will make a large dent in energy use in non-residential buildings – helping them become at least 20% more efficient by 2020.
Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest and cleanest way to achieve savings and help the environment, according to the Alliance.
Federal Buildings Upgrades Will Save Energy and Money
The federal government is leading by example, and taxpayers are the beneficiaries. By using Energy Savings Performance Contracts, private companies will carry out $2 billion dollars of improvements to federal facilities and will be paid back over time with the money saved due to lower energy use in those buildings.
"This creative public-private tool helps emphasize the power of energy efficiency, especially when the federal government works with the private sector," said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. "Jobs are created, energy and taxpayer dollars are saved, the country becomes more energy independent and the environment is protected."
Additional $2 Billion Commitment to Upgrade Other Buildings
Sixty CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders are also investing $2 billion to make 1.6 billion square feet of their buildings more energy efficient. These upgrades will save money and energy on college campuses and in hospital complexes, large industrial plants and local municipal buildings. This is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February with the goal of creating energy efficiency upgrades in America's commercial and industrial buildings, making them 20% more efficient over the next decade to save American businesses almost $40 billion in energy costs.
"It is gratifying to see that across industry sectors, energy efficiency is being embraced as an important way to meet the bottom line, while helping the economy and the environment and spurring tens of thousands of construction jobs," Callahan added.
"These steps taken by both the public and private sectors clearly demonstrate the interest in and potential of energy efficiency," she said. "Congress should follow this lead and move forward on energy-efficiency legislation like the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman bill (S.1000) that will build on these fiscally responsible examples."
Residents Can Benefit Too
Since residential buildings account for another 20% of all U.S. energy use, the Alliance urged homeowners and renters to use today's announcement as a reminder to evaluate their own home energy use. Some efficiency upgrades that are completed before the end of the year are eligible for federal tax credits of up to $500.
The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy and national security.
SOURCE Alliance to Save Energy