Make a commitment to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming and take action to reduce carbon emissions associated with building energy use. Sign on as an ENERGY STAR partner and take the ENERGY STAR Challenge as an off-the-shelf solution to promote cost-effective energy and carbon emissions reductions in buildings. The ENERGY STAR Challenge is a national call to action to improve the energy efficiency of America's commercial and industrial buildings by 10 percent or more. To make the Challenge more personal, include your specific energy saving goals in your campaign messaging and incorporate the Challenge as part of your broader sustainability goals.
Orange County, Florida
In 2009, the Orange County Government, Environmental Protection Division (EPD) received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy. Made available through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the grant was intended to be a platform for promoting reduced energy use through the two most cost-effective measures—conservation and efficiency, based on Orange County's Climate Change Plan.
Orange County, like many counties around the nation, recognizes the importance of reducing the impact of the built environment on human and environmental health, and has taken steps in the past few years to demonstrate its commitment to fighting climate change. The county adopted its Climate Change Plan in September 2007 and updated it in 2009. The plan states Orange County's commitment to being a leader in energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the environment. It sets the following targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a 2005 baseline: 15 percent reduction by 2010; 28 percent reduction by 2015; and 40 percent reduction by 2020.
One of several energy-saving programs made possible by the EECBG grant was the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance (CFEEA) Kilowatt Crackdown Challenge. The Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance was established in July 2009 as part of the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The alliance is composed of a diverse group of stakeholders including utilities, professional and trade organizations, local government, and academia. Members include:
These groups are committed to research, education, and implementation of environmentally and socially responsible energy and building management practices. Of three environmental programs to save water, manage waste, and reduce energy use, the Kilowatt Crackdown Challenge with ENERGY STAR is CFEEA's key initiative to promote energy efficiency and conservation.