An initiative to improve energy efficiency in the USA residential, commercial and industrial sectors has saved $18.5 billion from its launch in 2011 to date, as well as avoided 189 million metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported this week.
Energy saved during the more-than-a-decade implementation of the Better Buildings Initiative totaled 3.1 quadrillion British thermal units, according to the annual progress report for the initiative, prepared by the DOE.
The initiative aims to provide cost-effective decarbonization solutions by advancing the development of relevant technologies and providing technical assistance, among other strategies.
Over 900 organizations now participate in the initiative, including local governments, schools and 30 Fortune 100 companies, the report said.
“900+ program partners represent nearly 30 of the country’s Fortune 100 companies, nearly 20 of the top 50 U.S. employers, 14 percent of the U.S. manufacturing energy footprint, and 13 percent of total commercial building space, as well as more than 90 state and local governments spanning the nation”, it highlighted.
To date $32 billion in funding has been extended by the initiative’s financial allies, according to the report.
Last year under the initiative, the Better Climate Challenge was rolled out to get energy producers to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent within 10 years at the portfolio level without the use of offsets, the report underlined.
“In the first year of reporting results, partners reported data across nearly 850 million square feet of buildings and 2,100 industrial plants. On average, Better Climate Challenge partners are reducing GHG emissions by more than 20 percent from their base year”, the report said.
Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a DOE press release accompanying the report, “To meet President Biden’s ambitious climate goals, the public and private sector need practical pathways to reduce emissions while cutting costs—and that’s exactly what they get from DOE’s Better Building Initiative”.
Earlier this month the DOE launched an initiative to halve the costs of refurbishing homes with clean energy solutions and cut the energy cost burden of household consumers by 20 percent within a decade.
The targets are laid out in the agency’s Affordable Home Energyshot, which “will drive innovative clean energy solutions in the affordable housing sector that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make homes more resilient, and save residents money”, the agency said in a news release October 12.
The DOE said nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the country come from its 130 million homes and commercial buildings, which use 40 percent of the USA’s energy and 75 percent of its electricity. “Nearly 1 in 4 households nationwide experience high energy burdens; as a result, more than 20 percent fell behind on their energy bills in 2022”, it added in the earlier media release.
“These trends disproportionately impact lower income residents who live in older homes that often lack adequate insulation and energy-efficient appliances. Households who report some form of energy insecurity reside in homes that are nearly 20 percent less efficient”.
To contact the author, email email@example.com