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Massachusetts Joins Major Expansion to Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Challenge

For Immediate Release: 6/26/2012 4:45 pm

Worcester, MA (June 26, 2012) - The Obama Administration today announced that 36 new states, cities and school districts, including the State of Massachusetts and the Cities of Medford and Worcester, have joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge. The commitments by these new partners total nearly 300 million square feet in job-creating building energy upgrades, equivalent to more than 130 Empire State Buildings.

Additionally, the Energy Department is announcing a $715,000 investment in Massachusetts to facilitate whole-building energy efficiency retrofits of 11 million square feet of regional public schools. Through the Department’s State Energy Program, Massachusetts will leverage more than $165 million from utility efficiency funds and low-cost bonds to maximize energy savings.

“Making our public buildings and schools more energy efficient is one of the easiest ways to save taxpayer dollars,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Our new partners in Massachusetts joining the Better Buildings Challenge today are paving the way to long-term benefits in their communities. These projects will reduce energy costs for local governments, support jobs across a range of industries, and help build an American economy that lasts.”

Launched last year, the Better Buildings Challenge is helping to leverage almost $4 billion in private and public investment to reduce energy use in buildings across the country by at least 20 percent by 2020 and support new jobs across the country. The Better Buildings Challenge supports the Obama Administration's blueprint for an economy built to last, reducing energy costs in buildings – which consume more than 40 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy – while boosting American competitiveness in the global clean energy race.

In the United States, we spend approximately $200 billion each year to operate the buildings where we work, shop and study, including schools, public facilities, community centers, office buildings and malls. The new Better Buildings partners announced today are expected to invest about $300 million to upgrade their building space.

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