The President's vision to "Win the Future" spelled out in his State of the Union Address was not one founded on vague dreams of a brighter day ahead -- it was founded on ideas, advancements, and principles already cropping up across the country that can help keep America on top if we only stand by them. That's what his visit to Penn State today was about:
And right here, right here at Penn State, a university whose motto is “making life better,” you’ve answered the call. (Applause.) So today you’re preparing to lead the way on a hub that will make America home to the most energy-efficient buildings in the world.
Now, that may not sound too sexy until -- (laughter) -- energy-efficient buildings. (Laughter.) But listen, our homes and our businesses consume 40 percent of the energy we use. Think about that. Everybody focuses on cars and gas prices, and that’s understandable. But our homes and our businesses use 40 percent of the energy. They contribute to 40 percent of the carbon pollution that we produce and that is contributing to climate change. It costs us billions of dollars in energy bills. They waste huge amounts of energy.
So the good news is we can change all that. Making our buildings more energy-efficient is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to save money, combat pollution and create jobs right here in the United States of America. And that's what we’re going to do. (Applause.)
Specifically, the President was announcing the “Better Buildings Initiative,” which aims to achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020, reduce companies’ and business owners’ energy bills by about $40 billion per year, and save energy by reforming outdated incentives and challenging the private sector to act. The White House fact sheet fleshes out those goals, talks about the successes to be built upon from the last two years, and lays out these steps which will be included in the President's coming budget: