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DOE invests to save small buildings money by saving energy

Wed, 07/24/2013 - 12:03pm

Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for steady, responsible steps to reduce carbon pollution and reduce energy bills for U.S. businesses, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced an award of $10 million for six projects to help small commercial buildings save money by saving energy.

These small commercial buildings are less than 50,000 square feet in size and include schools, churches, strip malls, restaurants and grocery stores. The six projects are aimed at developing user-friendly tools and resources that can be easily deployed at any small building. The DOE’s $10 million investment across these six projects will be matched by at least $14 million in private sector funding.

In the U.S., the commercial building sector—of which more than 90% are small buildings—consumes about 20% of all U.S. energy. According to studies by the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, small buildings have tremendous potential to save energy and improve their bottom lines. For example, small fast food restaurants have the potential to cut energy use by up to 45%, and a 10% reduction in energy costs can improve grocery stores’ profit margin by 16%.

Still, small building owners and operators often lack the capital and resources available to large commercial building owners and operators. Hassle-free tools and practices that require little time, technical expertise and financial investment offer the best opportunity for small buildings to save money on their utility bills.

Click here to view more information on the projects.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

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