U.S. wants greener commercial buildings

Published: June 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM

WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- Commercial buildings consume about one-fifth of U.S. energy supplies and the Energy Department said appraisers need better ways to assess energy performance.

The U.S. Energy Department announced that it was teaming with The Appraisal Foundation to find ways to ensure that appraisers have the right information to evaluate energy performance when conducting commercial building appraisals.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement said giving appraisers the tools they need to evaluate energy performance translates to more energy savings.

"If better performing buildings have a higher value, it will help enable the upfront investment for energy efficiency upgrades," he said.

U.S. President Barak Obama said he'd like to see commercial buildings improve energy efficiency by 20 percent of current levels by 2020.

Commercial buildings in the United States used 20 percent of the country's available energy last year. The Energy Department said improvements in things like insulation, lighting, windows and heating and cooling could help cut into that energy consumption.

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