New laws, initiatives help Philadelphia become leader in energy efficiency

Philadelphia is currently benefiting from a host of energy efficient programs that will lower utility bills in commercial buildings throughout the city. Aside from initiatives funded by government and private entities, the city has also passed legislation that will have officials monitoring water and electricity consumption in the city's largest commercial structures starting in 2013.

The new law will apply to all buildings larger than 50,000 square feet, pressuring the city's most powerful landlords to take steps towards meeting the goals set out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that require significant reductions in utility consumption nationwide.

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub is a private-public organization primarily funded by the DOE that is helping Philadelphia's landlords understand how they can make changes to their property and why it is crucial.

"A lot of people don't know the right questions to ask. It's hard to create the demand if the owners don't know what they should be demanding," said Hub deputy manager Lauren Actman in a story from AOL.

Through the Hub program, Philadelphia is aiming to become an example for other major metropolitan areas. Already having turned the city's long dormant Navy Yard into a test facility for energy efficient technologies, the Hub program has helped keep Philadelphia ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental friendliness

With new legislation and the Hub program, officials estimate that the number of jobs in the energy efficiency industry will double by 2022 to an estimated 16,000 positions.

Business owners looking to reduce their utility consumption should seek the assistance of a commercial inspector to learn what improvements they can make to their property following an energy audit.