Greener business buildings could save $40bn in energy
The US is banking on public-private partnerships to help make buildings across the country more energy efficient and save billions on energy costs.
The Better Buildings Challenge, announced by President Barack Obama in February aims to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings across the US by 20 percent, a goal that could help businesses save up to $40 billion a year on energy costs. The challenge this week took on its first 14 partners:
- Best Buy, which aims to improve efficiency at its more than 55 million square feet of retail space;
- Green Sports Alliance, an organization of 25 sports teams in 17 cities representing more than 20 million square feet of sports arenas;
- Lend Lease, which plans to improve energy efficiency in nearly 40,000 homes for military families;
- Transwestern,which has committed to reducing energy consumption in 78 million square feet of managed properties;
- USAA Real Estate Company, which aims to reduce energy use in its 50-million-square-foot property portfolio by 5 percent per year;
- Abundant Power, which has committed to providing more than $50 million in financing for commercial building efficiency projects over the next 18 months;
- Cit, which over the next 18 months plans to support at least $250 million in financial for commercial and other property type energy efficiency projects.
- Green Campus Partners LLC, a portfolio company of Hudson Clean Energy Partners that plans to invest more than $100 million in commercial, industrial, hospital and university energy conservation projects over the next 18 months;
- Metrus Energy, which plans to finance more than $50 million in industrial and commercial building efficiency projects;
- Renewable Funding, which expects to provide more than $50 million in financing for clean-energy and energy efficiency projects over the next 18 months.
- Transcend Equity, which has committed to more than $75 million in financing for energy efficiency projects in commercial real estate, private higher education and healthcare.
- The city of Atlanta, which has started an energy efficiency benchmarking initiative for its 220-block downtown improvement district.
- The city of Los Angeles, which expects to leverage $7.5 million in Recovery Act funding into $30 million for energy upgrades affecting 22 million square feet of downtown buildings;
- The Seattle 2030 District, which aims to transform 23 million feet of downtown buildings into the first large-scale, high-performance building district in the country.