FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces Commitments and Executive Actions to Advance Solar Deployment and Energy Efficiency
Today, President Obama announced more than 300 private and public
sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing
solar deployment and energy efficiency. The commitments 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
The commitments made today build on the momentum that is driving
solar deployment and energy efficiency investments all across the
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
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
As part of this Year of Action, the President has taken numerous
actions to advance our nation’s energy and climate goals and expand
opportunities for hardworking Americans to get ahead. But there’s more
work to do. That’s why, today, the President announced a series of
executive actions that will create jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and
cut energy waste.
energy strategy. Supported by historic investments in research,
development, and deployment, the price of solar technologies has
decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced rapid growth since
President Obama took office. The President is committed to continuing
this momentum. That’s why, last month, the White House hosted a Solar
Summit to honor cross-sector leadership on solar and announce new steps
to expand the use of solar in our homes, businesses, and schools. Today,
the President is announcing new initiatives to further support solar
deployment and create good paying American jobs that can’t be
Building a Skilled Solar Workforce: To enable a
skilled workforce to support the growth of solar deployment across
America, the DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network will support
training programs at community colleges across the country that will
assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. This builds
upon SunShot’s existing Solar Instructor Training Network of nearly 400
community colleges in 49 states that have trained over 22,000 people to
join the solar industry since 2010. These community colleges include:
HUD and DOE are also partnering to advance available educational
opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
(STEM) fields to support energy literacy and employment opportunities in
the solar sector for public housing residents.
Providing Innovative Financing for Deploying Solar:
Building on the success of the Defense Department’s coordinated efforts
to purchase renewables – and leverage its buying power to deploy clean
energy technologies like solar – the General Services Administration is
identifying opportunities for potential Federal Aggregated Solar
Procurements in both the National Capital Region and Northern
California. The effort seeks to bring together multiple Federal agencies
to capitalize on economies of scale with the goal of lower electricity
bills for individual sites, and increased renewable energy production,
while reducing internal agency overhead costs by sharing procurement and
project management resources.
In addition, in a step forward for renewable energy, the Treasury
Department and IRS will shortly clarify how certain investment rules
relate to renewable energy installations. This is important because real
estate investment trusts (REITs), a key component of many retail
investors’ portfolios, generally hold only real property. The new
guidance will provide clarity regarding the treatment of renewable
energy installations in REITs, thereby helping to promote investment in
REDUCING ENERGY BILLS FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES
Energy efficiency is one of the clearest and most cost-effective
opportunities to save families money, make our businesses more
competitive, and reduce carbon pollution. That’s why the President
established a new goal for energy efficiency standards in his Climate
Action Plan and directed his Administration to reduce barriers to
investment in energy efficiency and expand the Better Buildings
Challenge. As part of the President’s Year of Action the Administration
has already issued three proposed and four final energy efficiency
standards, expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to include
multifamily housing, and announced new funding for innovative energy
efficiency projects located in the U.S. To further reduce the amount of
energy consumed by American families, cut down on their energy bills,
and create jobs, today, the President announced new initiatives to:
Drive $2 Billion in Energy Efficiency Investments for Federal Buildings: Today,
President Obama is announcing an additional $2 billion goal in federal
energy efficiency upgrades to Federal buildings over the next 3 years.
Today’s challenge, in combination with the initial commitment of $2
billion in 2011, will result in a total of $4 billion in energy
efficiency performance contracts in the Federal sector through 2016.
These investments will save Americans billions in energy costs, promote
energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create
tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $2
billion investment announced today extends and expands the President’s
commitment to energy upgrades of Federal buildings using long-term
energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no net cost to taxpayers.
Federal agencies have already committed to a pipeline of nearly $2.7
billion in projects.
Breaking through Market and Technical Barriers: As
part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department
created three Better Building Accelerators in December 2013 to support
and encourage ongoing state- and local government-led effort to save
money and energy. Building off of this progress, today, DOE is launching a High Performance Outdoor Lighting Accelerator
to increase the adoption and use of high efficiency outdoor lighting in
the public sector. This Accelerator is aimed at replacing more than
500,000 outdoor lighting poles and developing best practice approaches
to municipal system-wide upgrades. The charter cities include:
Mid-America Regional Council representing Kansas City, MO metro area
West Palm Beach, FL
Little Rock, AK
Huntington Beach, CA
Improve Appliance Efficiency: Today, DOE is issuing
two final energy efficiency conservation standards. One standard for
electric motors, which are frequently used to power devices such as
conveyor belts and escalators, another standard for walk-in coolers and
freezers, such as those used to display milk in supermarkets. Through
2030, these standards will help cut carbon pollution by about 158
million metric tons – equivalent to the annual electricity use of more
than 21 million U.S. homes and will save consumers over $26 billion on
their energy bills. Since June, the Department has issued nine proposed
and five final energy conservation standards, and when combined with
the final rules already issued under this Administration, will surpass
70 percent of the President’s goal of reducing carbon pollution by at
least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030.
Strengthen Building Codes: Today, the Department of
Energy is preliminarily affirming that industry’s latest commercial
building energy code – the 2013 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1
– provide an additional 8.5 percent energy savings over the previous
Standard, and up to 30 percent savings compared to today’s predominant
state energy codes. The updated code will help states and the Federal
government save money and energy on building operations and cut
emissions by 230 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030. Since 2009,
improved codes for residential and commercial buildings have already
saved U.S. homes and businesses $44 billion on their energy bills,
today’s action builds off of this progress.
Expand Multifamily Housing Energy Finance Solutions Through Green Preservation Plus:
Fannie Mae and HUD/The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced
the expansion of the Green Preservation Plus program, an enhanced
financing option aimed at preserving quality affordable housing by
encouraging the investment in energy- and water-saving property
improvements. Green Preservation Plus, formerly Green Refinance Plus, is
a Fannie Mae-FHA Multifamily mortgage loan execution that provides
extra loan proceeds to owners of affordable housing properties to make
energy- and water-efficient property improvements. To be eligible for a
Green Preservation Plus mortgage loan, owners must commit to making
energy- and water-saving improvements in an amount equal to at least 5%
of the mortgage loan amount. These improvements can significantly
reduce energy and water consumption at the property, thereby improving
the operating income for the owner, lowering utility costs for tenants
and the updating the property.
The commitments President Obama announced today span every corner of
the United States, from a 75 year old vegetable farm in California to a
rural electric coop in Kentucky, from the Minneapolis Public Housing
Authority to a homebuilder in Texas, and from a retailer with stores all
across America to research universities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and
Virginia, showing that no matter where you live using clean sources of
power and cutting energy waste is not an abstract idea, it’s a smart
choice for American businesses and families.
Commitments to Advance Solar Deployment.
Solar is becoming affordable and accessible – a smart option – for a
growing number of families and businesses. Supported by historic
investments in research, development, and deployment, the price of solar
technologies has decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced
rapid growth since President Obama took office. Last year was a
record-breaking year for new solar installations, and the amount of
solar power installed in the United States has increased nearly eleven
fold – from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008 to an estimated 13 gigawatts today,
which is enough to power more than 2.2 million American homes.
Today, responding to the President’s call to action on solar
deployment, leaders from across sectors are making commitments that will
expand the use of solar in our homes, businesses, and schools –
creating jobs and cutting carbon pollution. For these leaders, solar
makes economic sense today; it’s something that works now:
MULTIFAMILY AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING LEADERS: Across
the country, low-income housing leaders and service providers are
stepping up to deploy solar on affordable multifamily properties;
because solar makes economic sense for them, brings an economic boost to
struggling communities and families, and it’s something that works
of affordable multifamily housing in the nation, has developed over 1
megawatt (MW) and is setting a goal of an additional 4 MW by 2020.
through its subsidiary Affordable Community Energy, Inc., a non-profit
providing housing and energy services to low-income communities across
the Midwest, is on track to install 600 kW of solar by May and commits
to add 530 kW of additional solar by the end of 2015.
and its eleven members joined together to reduce energy and water
consumption by 20 percent by 2020 through their Big Reach Initiative.
These efforts have the potential to contribute 500,000 therms and 4 MW
of solar PV.
which facilitates affordable multifamily housing across the country, is
announcing a 16 MW target totaling $40 million in investment by 2020 in
D.C., Denver, Boston, LA, and Chicago.
organization, will help install 100 MW of solar power on affordable
single-family and multifamily housing across the country by 2024; GRID
Alternatives has also launched a new Tribal Solar Initiative to ensure
that American Indian tribes have access to the benefits of solar power.
innovative affordable housing developer and owner, will install 400 kW
of solar PV and 15,000 therms of Solar thermal this year; in 2015, will
add another 100 kW of PV and 5,000 therms of Solar Thermal.
non-profit organization that builds, owns, and operates affordable
housing, is committed to installing 826 kilowatt (kW) of solar PV across
over 1,000 units of affordable housing in California by 2016.
installed 2.5 MW of solar and continues its commitment of adding solar
to every new phase of redevelopment as evidenced by its installation of
another 100kw on Mariposa Phase VI starting construction in the fall of
2014. The housing authority is also developing a comprehensive district
wide energy design program for PV and geothermal energy under a
micro-utility structure for Denver’s 100 acre Sun Valley neighborhood.
nonprofit housing development and management corporation, has 3.1 MW of
on-site solar PV in their affordable housing portfolio and is committed
to an additional 20 projects – a total of nearly 10 MW.
Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, a multi-family affordable housing provider, will add 542 KW of on-site solar across a total of 4 projects.
HOMEBUILDERS AND HOME IMPROVEMENT LEADERS: Part of
tapping the full potential of solar means making it accessible for new
homebuyers and homeowners. This group of leaders is stepping up to make
it possible for more new homebuyers and homeowners to have solar
available as an option.
1000 stores to be learning centers for residential solar power systems
by 2016. Home Depot customers in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, MA, MD, OR, NJ, NY,
and PA can already choose solar.
commitment to more than double in size over the next several years, a
groundbreaking program that includes solar as a standard feature in new
homes in 80 communities across the country where consumers purchase the
solar energy produced on their roofs at a guaranteed 20% discount off
retail electricity rates for 20 years.
option in every current community in Southern California and Nevada as
well as 3 communities in Arizona where solar is a standard feature.
This will result in over 11,200 new homes with solar.
deploy solar on military base housing – including a project for 13.2MW
on Fort Bliss, fulfilling more than 25% of the housing community’s
manufacturer of building materials for both commercial and residential
construction, is committing to solarize 16,000 homes, equivalent to 81
MW, over the next three years in the U.S.
residential and commercial contractor has a new goal to install solar
for over 500 homes and commercial entities over the next three years.
largest HVAC companies in the U.S., is committed to 5.4 MW of
residential and 3 MW of small commercial solar over the next three
with the Department of Energy, announced commitments to construct nearly
10,000 Zero Energy Ready Homes – outfitted for solar – supporting the
DOE’s goal of 75,000 Zero Energy Ready Homes by 2020:
New Town Builders
HAO Texas Builder
Palo Duro Homes
Green Team Real Estate
Mutual Housing California
Nexus Energy Homes
Bruns Realty Group
M Street Homes
David Weekly Homes
Desert Alliance for
RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE LEADERS: Across the
country, member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives are
deploying a variety of solar options, including more than fifty
community solar projects. Today, America’s electric cooperatives are
announcing 199 rural electric co-ops in 27 states and American Samoa are
planning solar installations that will provide over 150 MW of new solar
capacity by 2020.
COMMERCIAL SECTOR LEADERS: Hundreds of
American-based companies are choosing solar power as an energy source.
Today, the following commercial sector leaders are rising to the
President’s Challenge and committing to increase onsite solar generation
at their facilities and within their supply chains:
Wal-mart commits to double the
number of onsite solar energy projects at U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs, and
Distribution Centers by 2020, as part of their commitment to drive the
production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the
end of the decade.
Kaiser Permanente commits to
increase its onsite generation capacity in 2014 with additional solar
installations at numerous locations, including thier new Oakland Medical
Center, the Hidden Lake Medical Offices in Colorado, and at various
Hawaii sites; and is investigating adding as much as 40 megawatts of
onsite solar power capacity through installations at dozens of our
medical campuses throughout California.
Ikea commits to use renewable
energy generation at their new U.S. IKEA store locations, when feasible,
with a focus on evaluating the viability of using solar and geothermal
generation. Ikea is also announcing that their Miami, Florida store,
which will open in summer 2014, will be their 40th US location with solar PV.
Apple, already running its
data centers on 100% renewable energy, is now building a 2.8 million
square-foot headquarters which will also run entirely on renewables,
including 16 MW of rooftop solar. Apple has committed to powering all
its facilities with green energy sources and has already achieved 94% of
Clif Bar is launching their 50/50
by 2020 initiative, asking their supply chain partners to use green
power –including solar –for the electricity used to make their
ingredients, packaging and products. Their goal is to have 50 key
supply chain partners transition to at least 50% green power by 2020.
Viridity Energy will drive the
creation of 300 MW of new battery storage for solar and other renewables
by 2017. This will help make our electric grid more robust and
efficient, while enabling it to accept more power from solar and other
renewable energy sources.
Bonipak, a 75-year old farm and
one of the largest growers and processors of fresh vegetables
distributing to retailers, wholesalers and food service customers
worldwide has set a goal to install over 2 MW of solar over the next
Taylor Farms, which partners with
hundreds of farmers across North America to produce ingredients for
salads, set a goal to install 1 MW of solar.
Yahoo is committing to add
a solar installation to their Sunnyvale headquarters by early 2015 to
complement their efforts to source from clean energy.
Google is announcing a $1 million
prize to develop the next generation of power inverters, enabling solar
power in more homes and helping bring electricity to the most remote
places on Earth.
LEADING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: Private finance is critical to scaling
solar and renewables, which make sound, reliable investments. The
following financial institutions are leading the way, announcing today
new plans to grow solar and renewable installation through large scale
investment and innovative programs.
commits to help fund 75 MW of solar PV in Connecticut by 2016. The
Green Bank attracts private capital by leveraging public financing at a
ratio of 9 to 1, enabling Connecticut to go solar at a lower cost to
Citi is committed to continue
expanding its finance efforts to scale distributed generation solar in
the US. Citi will support public and private sector clients, and employ a
number of financing mechanisms and partners, with a total financing
target of $1 billion over the next three years.
Boston Community Capital, an
innovative community development financial institution supporting
low-income communities will develop four megawatts of solar energy
projects primarily for affordable housing developments and
community-based nonprofits by, doubling their program’s current
In 2012, Goldman Sachs extended its
long-standing commitment to support renewable energy by establishing a
global target of $40 billion in financings and co- investments towards
clean technology over the coming decade. Of this amount, today it
announces a target of $10 billion for distributed generation renewables,
including solar, in the U.S. through 2021.
Commitments to Advance Energy Efficiency Investments.
In February 2011, President Obama launched the Better Buildings
Challenge to help American commercial and industrial buildings become at
least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. More than 190 diverse
organizations, representing over 3 billion square feet, 600
manufacturing plants and close to $2 billion in energy efficiency
financing have stepped up to the President’s Challenge. Through 2013,
Partners are on track to meet the 2020 goal and on average, are cutting
energy use by 2.5 percent each year. Partners have saved 36 trillion
BTUs and $300 million since the Better Buildings Challenge began.
Today, responding to the President’s call to action on energy
efficiency, leaders from across the country are making commitments that
will advance energy efficiency investments.
25 new states, cities, school districts, multifamily
housing, retailers, food service, hospitality and manufacturing
organizations are announcing that they are joining as
Partners in the President’s Better Buildings Challenge, committing to
improving the energy efficiency of more than 1 billion square feet, an
area the size of 17,000 football fields, of additional floor space by at
least 20 percent by 2020.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools commits 13 million square feet of school buildings.
Balfour Beatty Communities commits 50 million square feet of multifamily residential housing across 44,000 units.
Capitol Hill Housing commits more than 1 million square feet of multifamily residential housing.
Commonwealth Partners commits 11 million square feet across its commercial properties.
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the 7th largest Public Housing Authority in the country, commits its multifamily portfolio over 10,500 units.
Eastman Chemical commits 8 plants.
General Mills commits 27 plants.
General Motors commits 31 plants covering 84 million square feet.
HARBEC commits 1 plant covering 50,000 square feet.
Hilton Worldwide commits its company owned portfolio of 14 million square feet.
Jonathan Rose Companies commits 2.7 million square feet across 2,855 multifamily housing units.
City of Margate, FL commits 120,000 square feet.
MGM Resorts International commits 78 million square feet.
Minneapolis Public Housing Authority commits almost 4.5 million square feet of affordable multifamily housing.
New Bedford Housing Authority commits 2.6 million square feet across 2500 multifamily housing units.
Penn State University commits 28 million square feet.
Rockford Housing Authority commits 3 million square feet across more than 1,000 multifamily housing units.
City of San Diego, CA commits 9.5 million square feet.
Towson University commits 5.5 million square feet campus-wide.
University of Virginia, commits 15 million square feet.
UTC commits 159 plants covering 38 million square feet.
Walmart commits 850 million square feet.
Whole Foods Market commits close to 13 million square feet.
VLV commits 25,000 square feet of multifamily residential housing.
Volvo commits 8 plants covering 5 million square feet.
Wishrock Investment Group commits 8 million square feet across 8,000 multifamily housing units.
Today, 7 new financial allies are also stepping up to the Better Buildings Challenge.
These leadings organizations have committed to deliver innovative
financing solutions and products to help owners and managers of
multifamily housing and other organizations with energy efficiency
upgrades. The new financial allies include:
California Housing Partnership Corporation commits $25 million.
Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) commits $25 million.
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. commits $25 million.
Hannon Armstrong commits $250 million.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) commits $25 million.
Low Income Investment Fund commits $2.5 million.
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Fund commits $25 million.
20 Better Buildings Challenge Partners are committing to participate in a new expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge to cut energy wasted from the inefficient use of water. The
commercial and industrial sectors account for more than 25% of the
withdrawals from public water supplies and many organizations in these
sectors may have savings opportunities of 20 to 40%. The efficient use
of water resources results in lower operating costs, a more reliable
water supply, and improved water quality. Energy is also required to
transport and treat water, saving water also saves energy. Given this
nexus, thru the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE will is working with a
small, diverse group of Better Buildings Challenge Partners to
demonstrate successful approaches to saving water and decreasing their
Ford Motor Company
City of Fort Worth
Kohl’s Department Stores
NHT/Enterprise Preservation Corporation
Nissan North America
Poudre School District, CO
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