Much of the necessary work to meet the goal is already underway as part of the City's contract with Ameresco, an energy-services company that has developed an energy-efficiency plan for the City's 99 public buildings and other facilities. A ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning for a solar array at the Knoxville Convention Center marked the completion of one component of Ameresco's work.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial buildings and industrial plants in the U.S account for 50 percent of the nation's primary energy use, cost about $400 billion to operate, and produce 40 percent of the country's CO2 emissions. By taking steps to become more energy-efficient, DOE estimates that many buildings can reduce energy use by 20 percent.
"By accepting the Better Buildings Challenge, Knoxville is leading by example," said Susanna Sutherland, manager of the City's Office of Sustainability. "This is an important step toward a sustainable future for the City and the region."
For more information on the program, please visit http://www4.eere.energy.gov/challenge/.