We’ve talked before about making improvements to our homes to make them more energy efficient. But residential consumers may not recognize how much of Michigan’s energy is consumed by our commercial sector, like office buildings, manufacturing, or retail space. Representing 21.8 percent of our state’s energy demand, commercial energy use must be a key focus of our efforts to optimize energy consumption across our state as a whole.
The most prominent effort to address energy efficiency on the commercial level has been the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which has been led by the U.S. Green Building Council since 1993.
Better Buildings Challenge
President Obama established the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011 to make commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. Since then, 2,100 buildings have met the challenge.
Just this month, the Department of Energy announced 26 new partners and 7 financial allies committed to supporting energy optimization projects across more than 1 billion square feet of building space. Michigan State University is among the key participants in this program.
While improved energy efficiency results in cost-savings on its own, a number of additional incentives exist for constructing green buildings or upgrading existing ones. For example:
Michigan’s Energy Future
Whatever the method, energy optimization in the commercial sector will be a central part of Michigan’s energy future because our industries drive our economic growth. AMP supports smart policies that will help our state’s businesses achieve greater energy efficiency while also allowing them to succeed financially.