The U.S. Department of Energy and President Barack Obama put out a challenge to businesses in the country: Reduce energy use of your buildings. Ford is the only U.S. automaker thus far to take them up on that challenge.
According to a press release from Ford, the Motor Company will “reduce energy consumption in 25 plants covering 61 million square feet – the equivalent of more than 1,000 football fields – over 10 years.”
The DOE’s press release said the overall goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American commercial and industrial buildings 20% more efficient by the year 2020. With more than 110 companies and organizations taking the challenge, the DOE said so far they have trimmed about $58 million in energy costs. That’s equivalent to removing 110,000 cars from the road, DOE said.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge is bringing together private industry and government to integrate energy efficiency into regular business planning and operations, saving millions of dollars by reducing energy waste. The leadership and investments of our Better Buildings partners are demonstrating the promise of energy efficiency by reducing energy costs, helping to create American jobs and increasing competitiveness in the private sector.”
Ford’s short release said joining the challenge would help it “continue its long-term commitment to protecting the environment by improving its manufacturing techniques.” The Energy Department said commercial and industrial users combine to consume fully 50% of America’s energy at an annual cost of close to $400 billion. Ford’s place in the challenge is within the smallest slice of the pie chart of involved parties, with manufacturing facilities accounting for just 10% of the total number of firms involved in the challenge. Other participants and their share of the pie include what DOE called “financial and utility allies,” at 14%; firms representing municipalities that work with their local businesses to improve energy efficiency, at 21%; and the comercial, real estate, healthcare, hospitality, retail, educational institutions, and state and local governments, at 55%.