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Case studies build the case for Better Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the release of five case studies from a series spotlighting some of the most innovative projects funded under the DOE's Better Buildings program.

Never heard of the Better Buildings program? Here are the basics...

In 2011, because the buildings in which we work and live used roughly 40 percent of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion in 2010, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020 and to accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency. So, through a variety of efficiency improvements (e.g., new lighting, greater insulation, more efficient heating and cooling) and proven approaches, including clear information, access to financing, and energy efficiency investment criteria, the goal is to make these buildings more energy efficient and better places to live and work while creating jobs and building a stronger economy.

The program has evolved to include more than 40 state and local governments and partnering organizations that received over $500 million to lay the foundation for a sustainable energy efficiency market in the United States.

The case studies focus on four Better Building' partners in Seattle, Wash.; Austin, Texas; Michigan; and Rutland, Vt. At this stage, the focus is on getting the program off the ground by developing partnerships, education, and communication strategies focused on energy efficiency. Good stuff for the commercial building sector and plenty of tips and tricks for the residential retrofit crowd as well.

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