Back in February, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative, which is aimed at catalyzing private sector investment in commercial building upgrades and making the nation’s commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient in the next ten years. Now, as part of that initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has announced the 14 initial partners of the Better Buildings Challenge.
“Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can’t afford not to take,” said Secretary Chu, in a statement. “It will create jobs, reduce energy waste, save our businesses and institutions money, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
Under the conditions of these initial partnerships, Lend Lease has pledged to retrofit 40,000 homes for military families, while Transwestern has made a commitment to upgrade energy efficiency in 78 million square feet of commercial real estate. Other partners include USAA Real Estate Company and the cities of Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta, among others — all of which will provide data on their energy savings and share their efficiency strategies, helping to create models for other companies and municipalities interested in save money by saving energy.
Additionally, a number of financial organizations (such as Citi) have agreed to support the challenge by helping to provide financing for energy efficiency projects.