The Energy Department today announced new investments in state-led energy efficiency projects, supporting the Obama Administration's commitment to reduce building energy costs and transfer those savings directly to taxpayers. The Energy Department, through its State Energy Program, awarded nearly $14 million to 22 states and territories to conduct energy efficiency upgrades in public facilities and develop local policies and programs to help reduce energy waste and save taxpayer money. These investments are part of the Energy Department's national strategy to create jobs, boost domestic manufacturing in energy-saving technologies and help American families and businesses save money.
"Deploying energy efficiency in our buildings, vehicles, and industries creates jobs, grows markets for American-made products, reduces energy bills for families and businesses, and makes the American economy more competitive," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "In support of President Obama's all-of-the-above approach to American energy, these investments are part of the Department's broader efforts to spur the development of a sustainable market for energy efficiency that will help protect our air and water and create jobs for American workers."
The state-led projects announced today will conduct whole-building energy efficiency upgrades across hundreds of public buildings, saving millions for state and local governments and creating new local jobs for energy auditors, architects, engineers and construction workers. The projects selected today fall under three categories, including:
Advancing Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings -- The Energy Department will invest $7.9 million to assist 13 states to develop cost-saving whole-building retrofit programs across a broad segment of their public building portfolio.
Stimulating Energy Efficiency Action in States -- The Department will invest $1 million to assist two states in generating the necessary policy and program frameworks to encourage cost-effective energy efficiency investments and establish or increase statewide energy savings goals by 2015.
Deploying Fee-Based Self-Funded Public Facilities Energy Retrofit Programs -- The Energy Department will invest $5 million to assist eight states in developing, improving and implementing comprehensive programs that can finance energy upgrades to public facilities, including state and municipal buildings, National Guard assets, school districts and water and wastewater treatment facilities.
Buildings in the United States last year consumed more than 40 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy. The projects announced today are part of a broader Energy Department effort to reduce energy costs in our homes and buildings, create jobs and boost American competitiveness in the global race for clean energy technologies. These efforts also build on the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Challenge, which works with private and public partners to reduce the energy use in their buildings by at least 20 percent by 2020. Over the past year, over 100 organizations have joined the Challenge, representing almost 2 billion square feet of building space and nearly $2 billion in energy efficiency investments nationwide.