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Goal: $2 Billion in Energy Efficiency Projects in 2 Years

Tracking and modeling energy use became more important in January 2012 when President Obama announced a $4 billion effort to improve the energy efficiency of both government and private-sector buildings in the U.S.

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The investment of $4 billion, to be spent on energy-efficiency projects over the next two years, intends to “save billions in energy costs [and] promote energy independence.”

President Obama signed a Presidental Memorandum directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion in energy-cost reduction efforts by maximizing the use of performance-based contracting. In the private sector, nearly 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders committed to finance $2 billion in upgrades across 1.6 billion square feet of real estate.

Private sector efforts apply to manufacturing plants and other commercial and industrial buildings. Quite a few companies announced their participation, including 3M, Alcoa, CBRE, GE, Kohls, Nissan, PNC and Schneider Electric.

This initiative is part of President Obama’s Better Building’s Initiative (www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/betterbuildings),  which set a goal in February 2011 of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20% by 2020. According to the White House, successfully achieving the Better Buildings Initiative “will reduce energy bills for businesses by $40 billion per year, and one report found it could create up to 114,000 jobs.”

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