In May, President Obama announced a number of energy initiatives. More than 300 private and public sector leaders committed to create jobs and reduce carbon pollution by increasing their solar use. These commitments add up to 850 megawatts of solar from companies including Google, Goldman Sachs, Ikea, Kaiser Permanente, Walmart and Yahoo and from affordable housing developers, school districts, rural electric co-ops, city and state governments. The President enlisted leaders to join the Better Buildings Challenge as well, to improve the energy efficiency of commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings and industrial plants by 20% over 10 years.
Additionally, the President announced executive orders to further support solar use and energy efficiency. The executive orders include expanding the US DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network at community colleges with a goal of helping 50,000 people enter the solar industry by 2020, spending $2 billion on federal energy efficiency upgrades to Federal buildings over the next 3 years, strengthening building codes by adopting the 2013 ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 that will tighten energy efficiency by 8.5 percent from previous version and up to 30 percent over most current state codes, and providing innovative financing for solar. Factsheet for more information.