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Target, Wal-Mart, others, to Pilot Program for Energy Efficiency in Commercial Building

3M, Cleveland Clinic, Dow Chemical, Grubb & Ellis, Marriott International, Nissan, Target and Wal-Mart as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will pilot a new program, established by the U.S. and nearly two dozen other countries, aimed at promoting energy efficiency in commercial buildings and industrial facilities, reports Reuters.

These countries represent more than 80 percent of global energy consumption and a similar percentage of the global market for clean energy technologies.

The Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (PDF), created to speed efficiency improvements in commercial buildings and industrial facilities, was launched at the first Clean Energy Ministerial hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, reports Reuters.

The program has three goals: develop a certification process to ensure continuous energy efficiency improvements, promote the adoption of energy efficient best practices and technologies, and accelerate the use of energy-savings technologies.

The U.S. helped lead the development of several initiatives as part of a Global Energy Efficiency Challenge. The collaboration created a series of new green power and efficiency initiatives including for appliances, smart grids and vehicles.

These initiatives are expected to eliminate the need to construct 500 power plants over the next two decades, according to the article.

Other initiatives launched at the Clean Energy Ministerial include the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative, the Bioenergy Working, the Carbon Capture and Storage Action Group, the Clean Energy Solutions Centers, the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Womens’ Initiative, the Electric Vehicles Initiative, International Smart Grid Action Network, the Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group, the Solar and LED Energy Access Program and the Sustainable Development of Hydropower Initiative.

Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been making significant investments in improving the nation’s energy efficiency across all sectors.

As in example, in June, the agency awarded more than $76 million in funding to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

The DOE also has selected 48 research and development projects as the winners of the agency’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Grand Challenge, providing $13 million in funding.

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