President Obama and former President Clinton have revealed a new plan to invest $4 billion in improving the energy efficiency of buildings across the United States.
Part of the Obama administration's "Better Buildings" campaign, the announcement includes $2 billion in upgrades across federal buildings over the next two months. The other $2 billion has been pledged to 60 different private companies, hospitals, universities, and other types of buildings.
"Making our buildings more energy efficient is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways for us to create jobs, save money, and cut down on harmful pollution," President Obama said at the announcement. "It is a trifecta, which is why you've got labor and business behind it. It could save our businesses up to $40 billion a year on their energy bills — money better spent growing and hiring new workers. It would boost manufacturing of energy-efficient materials.
"And when millions of construction workers have found themselves out of work since the housing bubble burst, it will put them back to work doing the work that America needs done. So this is an idea whose time has come."
The announcement was made at a Washington, D.C, based building managed by Transwestern real estate, which is currently undergoing energy efficiency upgrades. The improvements have created energy savings of approximately $200,000 annually and created 250 new jobs.
The "Better Buildings" initiative has the goal of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020, and it's estimated that the project could create over 100,000 new jobs.