Chicago joins Obama’s better buildings challenge

Posted at June 7, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Chicago joins Obama’s better buildings challenge

Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel and US Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced that the city is joining President Barack Obama’s better buildings challenge.

As part of the initiative, which was launched last year to drive improvement in the efficiency of the nation’s buildings, Chicago is pledging to reduce energy use by 20% in 24 million square feet of office and residential space over the next five years.

Buildings across the US cost some $200 billion to run annually and account for around 40% of the country’s energy consumption.

The Better Buildings Challenge aims to encourage CEOs, university presidents and local leaders commit to improving building performance to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020.

Chicago plans to upgrade 10 million square feet of city-owned buildings and 14 million square feet of privately-owned space, which is partnering with the city.

“By joining the Better Buildings Challenge, Chicago is not only leading by example, but is also better positioning the city in the global economy by saving millions in energy costs,” commented Energy Secretary Chu.

So far, the initiative has secured some $2 billion in energy efficiency financing and signed up 60 organisations, which have pledged to upgrade 1.6 billion square feet of building space and reduce energy waste at 300 manufacturing facilities.

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Related stories:
Los Angeles tops list of cities with the most Energy Star buildings (12-Apr)
Electrical efficiency standards will save US homes and businesses $1 trillion (14-Mar)
Retrofitting US buildings could save $1 trillion, says report (5-Mar)
Washington DC buildings LEED the way (23-Jan)

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