To create jobs while cutting carbon pollution and advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency, President Obama today announced more than 300 private and public sector commitments, which represent more than 850 megawatts of solar deployed—enough to power nearly 130,000 homes—as well as energy efficiency investments that will lower bills for more than 1 billion square feet of buildings.
Additionally, the President announced new executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings; smarter appliances that will cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons—equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year—and will save businesses nearly $26 billion on their energy bills; and training programs at community colleges across the country that will assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020.
President Obama is committed to making 2014 a year of action and has pledged to use the power of his phone and his pen to expand opportunity for all Americans. Last month, the White House hosted a Solar Summit celebrating cross-sector leadership on solar and calling for commitments to support solar deployment and jobs through the expand use of solar in our homes, businesses, and schools. The President has also called on private and public sector leaders to join the Better Buildings Challenge and continue improving the efficiency of American commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings and industrial plants by 20 percent or more over ten years.
Today, leaders from the private and public sectors are answering the call. Altogether, more than 300 multifamily housing, homebuilder and home improvement, rural electric cooperative, commercial sector (including retailers, food service, and hospitality), and public sector (including states, cities, school districts) organizations are announcing commitments.
The commitments made today build on the momentum that is driving solar deployment and energy efficiency investments all across the country:
—Last year, about a quarter of new power generation capacity was from solar – second only to natural gas.
—Growing deployment, led in large part by the utility sector, has driven down costs: Over the last three years, the cost of a solar energy system has dropped by more than 50 percent – helping to give more and more American families and businesses access to affordable, clean energy.
—Since the President took office, America has increased its electricity generation from solar more than ten-fold and tripled electricity production from wind power.
—Since the President took office, the Department of Energy has already put in place appliance efficiency standards that will save American consumers nearly $450 billion on their utility bills through 2030.
To further support solar deployment, reduce the amount of energy consumed by American families, cut down on their energy bills, and create jobs, today, the President is taking new executive actions to:
—Build a skilled solar workforce;
—Provide innovative financing for deploying solar;
—Drive investment in energy upgrades to federal buildings;
—Improve appliance efficiency; and
—Strengthen building codes.
The private sector commitments and executive actions announced today reinforce American leadership in innovating and deploying clean energy, cutting energy waste, and creating good paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.