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President Obama announces nearly $4B public-private investment in energy upgrades to buildings; $2B government commitment

President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. The $4-billion investment announced today includes a $2-billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs.

The Presidential Memorandum calls for fully implementing existing federal authority to utilize Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) in order to promote energy efficiency and create new jobs. Under the ESPC program, new energy efficient equipment is installed at Federal facilities at no up-front cost to the government. The cost of the improvements is paid for over time with energy costs saved on utility bills, and the private sector contractors guarantee the energy savings.

In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings.

This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.

The new commitments were announced by President Obama and former President Clinton along with representatives from more than 60 organizations as part of the Better Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February by President Obama, and is led by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to support job creation by catalyzing private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades to make America’s buildings 20% more efficient over the next decade, reducing energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion. Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20% of all the energy used by the US economy.

Upgrading the energy efficiency of America’s buildings is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution, and create good jobs right now. But we can’t wait for Congress to act. So today, I’m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years—at no up-front cost to the taxpayer. Coupled with today’s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future.

—President Obama

Investments in building retrofits and energy efficiency can make a real difference in the American economy, by creating jobs, growing our industries, improving businesses’ bottom lines, reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations. I am proud the Clinton Foundation has been able to help develop and grow President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, and that so many members of the Clinton Global Initiative have joined this Challenge. Working together, I am pleased the commitments to the BBC have grown from the initial $500 million and 300 million square feet that we announced in June at CGI America, to the $2 billion investment with over 1 billion square feet of retrofitted space that we are announcing today.

—President Clinton



This a 20+ years (too late) excellent program. Energy conservation cost about three times less than increasing current energy production and does not create new pollution nor consume non-replaceable fossil fuels.

Many countries have done that in the 1970/1980s.

How can we be that far behind?


There goes our president doing what he does best --- buying votes.


ejj...don't they all?


Yes, I suppose all administrations do; but should not.

And most deny it.

But now I begin to understand "Yes we can."


'Governance by the people for the people' was and is still a fantasy and a dream that many believed 230 years ago.

'Governance by all means to be re-elected by the people' is what it has become.

The candidate who has more means ($$$$$) is in a position to convince more people that he should govern. Whoever has $5+B for his campaign is assured to be the next President (for at least 8 years). With $10+B, one could be re-elected for a life time with a minor constitution change or with a Russian style musical chair scheme.

Wonder how much more it would cost to change the leader's name to E...... or K.....?


Yes, and then add the admiration of the "roll model" freaks in show biz and the clueless star athletes and an "American Idol" gets elected.


A major Wall Street bank CEO would do. They never get accused of any wrong doing and he could give a helping hand to his friends with more public borrowed $$$B.

Henry Gibson

The US has the advantage of having natural gas pipelines available in much of the populated area now.

Buildings of all sizes can now install co-generation units which can reduce CO2 releases at far lower costs than Solar power or wind power and are far more reliable and also do not need any subsidies to make them profitable for building operators.

HONDA's ecowill can even be used in residences but is limited in the US with its combination with Climate Energy's system. Tens of thousands of them were sold in Japan at first, but even there, they were far more limited in sales than they should have been, and so there are not many to support the population with the current power shortages.

They and the larger Capstone and other micro-turbine units should be used in every new and old building in the UK instead of the new gas fired central power stations, and the subsidies going for wind and solar power should mostly be diverted to co-generation in buildings with a greater reduction in CO2 per Pound spent. The low CO2 release of natural gas is even lower in co-generation facilities.

Cheap energy, as demonstrated is China, is needed for an active robust economy and the subsidies and mandates for wind and solar are a hidden drain on the money of the people that need not exist with co-generation. Wind and solar need the hidden capital and CO2 cost requirement of fossil fired backup units in the UK and else where.

Artificial natural gas methane is made from coal in one large unit in the US state of North Dakota and much of the CO2 produced is sold to oil fields in Canada for increased oil recovery, and the sulphur of the coal is made into fertilizer for sale to enrich soils depleted in sulphur and nitrogen. The UK could build a similar unit and not burn any coal directly for generation but use co-generation in buildings and also recover more oil and gas from its North Sea fields.

Building co-generation units can be installed in months not years as is the case with central station power. Modern technology allows a building with a natural gas pipe service to not be connected to the electric service at all. But if more heat is needed in a building and heat can be used for cooling as well, a connection should be available to sell the low CO2 cost power available when more heat than electricity is required. On the other hand, electric powered efficient ECOCUTE heat pumps may use all of the electric power to pump more heat into the building with the excess power instead.

Burning natural gas directly for heat alone is a waste of a premium fuel. ..HG..

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