Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, today announced its participation in the White Houses Better Buildings Challenge, pledging a commitment to reduce the energy use of 9 million square feet of its own building space, covering 40 different plants, by 25 percent. A component of the Better Buildings Initiative launched by the White House in February, the Challenge calls on chief executive officers, university presidents, and state and local leaders to create American jobs through energy efficiency.
“This program is a great example of the public-private partnerships that will be integral in steering our nation toward a more efficient and secure future,” said Chris Curtis, North American CEO of Schneider Electric. “Were reducing energy, but were also putting people to work – creating jobs through the increased engineering and construction activity required to actively manage energy and create benchmarks. Its a win-win.”
Schneider Electric has committed to achieving 2.5% annual energy savings over 10 years, and has incorporated its own technologies (such as the EcoStruxure energy management architecture), to reduce its energy usage by more than 20 percent, saving more than $18 million since 2004.
The companys showcase project in the Challenge and a Department of Energy pilot, a manufacturing plant in Smyrna, TN, has recently installed a six acre, 1 MW solar farm – the first of its kind in the U.S. – allowing Schneider Electric to streamline solar farm operations as well as research and test renewable energy solutions. By incorporating Schneider Electrics energy management solutions, the plant has shown a 35 percent reduction in energy usage, and is in the process of becoming ISO 50001 and Superior Energy Performance gold-certified.
In addition, as the only Energy Services Company (ESCO) involved in the challenge, Schneider Electric is also a leading pioneer of the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) model a part of the Challenge will leverage – using energy savings gleaned from efficiency upgrades in federal buildings to pay for any costs incurred. The Better Buildings Challenge includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.