President Obama recently announced new commitments under the Better Buildings Initiative totaling nearly $4 billion in public and private investments. Unveiled by the Obama Administration in February 2011, the goal of the Better Buildings Initiative is to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020. By combining public sector actions, private sector investment and legislative proposals, the Obama Administration hopes to reduce energy bills for American businesses by approximately $40 billion per year. At a press conference on December 2, the Administration laid out the following commitments:

  • Private Sector Investment. Under the Better Building Challenge, Over 60 major CEOs, universities, mayors, and labor leaders have agreed to perform energy upgrades to approximately 1.6 billion square feet of commercial and industrial property including 300 manufacturing plants, totaling nearly $2 billion in financial commitments.
  • Public Sector Actions. The President signed a Presidential Memorandum directing Federal agencies to hire contractors to perform a minimum of $2 billion in energy retrofits to Federal buildings.
  • Legislative Proposals. The third component of the plan aims to seek ways to reform the tax code, including revisiting the qualifications for claiming certain tax deductions for energy retrofits.

The Obama Administration estimates that this proposal could create thousands of jobs for unemployed Americans.

To view the announcement including a detailed list of energy efficiency accomplishments to date,click here.