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"Better Buildings Initiative" and "Innovation Cluster" Announced By President Obama [Updated] Obama's New "Better Buildings Initiative" Is Long Overdue, and Will Save Us Billions

President Obama's new initiative makes lots of sense: Commercial buildings account for 20 percent of the energy consumed in the country.


[Updated with video of the talk: 2/8/2011] President Obama just wrapped up a speech at Penn State University where he announced the creation of a "Better Buildings Initiative" to incentivize weatherization and energy efficiency retrofitting for commercial buildings. This is good news considering that commercial buildings currently account for roughly 20 percent of the energy consumed in the whole of the U.S. economy.

The president emphasized that efficiency means less costly waste, and that the aim of the program would be to make commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient nationwide. This would reduce companies’ energy bills by about $40 billion a year, money that could be much better spent on hiring new employees and expanding business.

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America's Oldest "Net Zero" House

This 110-year-old Victorian home in Ann Arbor is America's oldest and Michigan's first Net Zero home.

Kelly and Matt Grocoff bought a 110-year-old Victorian home in Ann Arbor, Michigan's Old West Side Historic District, and immediately set out to make it a "net zero" building, or one that generates at least as much energy as it uses, and—by their definition—"creates zero waste and will be a restorative part of our community."

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Make Your Home Energy Efficient With Energy Secretary Steven Chu

Check out this video for a wide range of energy efficiency tips from Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmk2Plvynwg&feature=player_embedded

Okay, so a 16 minute video about energy efficiency may not be for everyone (heavy sigh), but that's not going to stop me from posting this one. For it's not every day that you have head of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, sitting down to answer questions about home energy efficiency—yes, that lowest hanging energy fruit! that core climate solution!—that were submitted by regular citizens like us through email, Twitter, and Facebook.

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