Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it will provide energy efficiency programs that will reach 30 million square feet of its commercial customers by 2015 as a Better Buildings Challenge Utility Ally.
The US Department of Energy estimates that the energy to operate the buildings in which people work, shop and go to school costs about $200 billion annually and, on average, 30 percent of this energy is wasted.
Since 1976, PG&E says its programs have avoided the release of more than 168 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, based on cumulative lifecycle gross energy savings.
Other Better Buildings Allies include AFL-CIO, Citi, Clean Fund, GE Capital, Green Campus Partners, Renewable Funding and Southern California Edison, among others.
By joining the program, they commit to conducting an energy efficiency assessment, showcasing an energy efficiency project and reporting results.
Issued by the Obama Administration and supported by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the Better Buildings Challenge calls on companies, universities and communities to make energy upgrades across a total of 300 million square feet, and to invest a total of $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects. It’s part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February by President Obama and spearheaded by former President Clinton through the Clinton Global Initiative.
The Initiative seeks to make America’s buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade, reduce energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion and create jobs.
In other energy efficiency news, energy management software provider C3 has committed to helping US residences and businesses monitor their energy use data with the click of an online Green Button. The company says its C3 Energy products have adopted the Green Button Initiative’s data exchange standards.
After profiling a household’s use of energy and benchmarking that usage against similar homes, C3 Residential offers consumers individualized recommendations for energy savings actions. It also helps consumers access financial incentives to implement these actions.
C3 says these programs result in energy savings up to 6 percent.