Energy and the Environment

Private and Public Sector Commitments and Executive Actions Will Create Jobs and Cut

Carbon Pollution

Today, President Obama announced more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency. The commitments represent more than 850 megawatts of solar deployed – enough to power nearly 130,000 homes – as well as energy efficiency investments that will lower bills for more than 1 billion square feet of buildings. Additionally, the President announced new executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings; smarter appliances that will cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons – equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year – and will save businesses nearly $26 billion on their energy bills; and training programs at community colleges across the country that will assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. 

President Obama is committed to making 2014 a year of action and has pledged to use the power of his phone and his pen to expand opportunity for all Americans. Last month, the White House hosted a Solar Summit celebrating cross-sector leadership on solar and calling for commitments to support solar deployment and jobs through the expand use of solar in our homes, businesses, and schools. The President has also called on private and public sector leaders to join the Better Buildings Challenge and continue improving the efficiency of American commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings and industrial plants by 20 percent or more over ten years.


Solar is a vital component of the Administration’s all-of the above energy strategy. Supported by historic investments in research, development, and deployment, the price of solar technologies has decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced rapid growth since President Obama took office. The President is committed to continuing this momentum. That’s why, last month, the White House hosted a Solar Summit to honor cross-sector leadership on solar and announce new steps to expand the use of solar in our homes, businesses, and schools. Today, the President is announcing new initiatives to further support solar deployment and create good paying American jobs that can’t be outsourced.

Building a Skilled Solar Workforce: To enable a skilled workforce to support the growth of solar deployment across America, the DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network will support training programs at community colleges across the country that will assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. This builds upon SunShot’s existing Solar Instructor Training Network of nearly 400 community colleges in 49 states that have trained over 22,000 people to join the solar industry since 2010.  These community colleges include: 

  • San Francisco City College, San Francisco, CA
  • Oglala Lakota Community College, Kyle, SD (Oglala Lakota Tribe)
  • Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL
  • St. Phillips College, San Antonio, TX
  • Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston Salem, NC
  • Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA 

HUD and DOE are also partnering to advance available educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to support energy literacy and employment opportunities in the solar sector for public housing residents.


Energy efficiency is one of the clearest and most cost-effective opportunities to save families money, make our businesses more competitive, and reduce carbon pollution. That’s why the President established a new goal for energy efficiency standards in his Climate Action Plan and directed his Administration to reduce barriers to investment in energy efficiency and expand the Better Buildings Challenge. As part of the President’s Year of Action the Administration has already issued three proposed and four final energy efficiency standards, expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing, and announced new funding for innovative energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. To further reduce the amount of energy consumed by American families, cut down on their energy bills, and create jobs, today, the President announced new initiatives to:

Drive $2 Billion in Energy Efficiency Investments for Federal Buildings

Breaking through Market and Technical Barriers

Improve Appliance Efficiency

Strengthen Building Codes

Expand Multifamily Housing Energy Finance Solutions Through Green Preservation Plus

To see more of the President’s Commitment to Advance Solar Deployment and Energy Efficiency and how it may effect PHAs, please click here.


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