President Obama partners with Freddie Mac on energy efficiency

In President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last week, he highlighted many of the areas where the country needs to improve. One of his biggest challenges facing the country, he argued, is global climate change and its effect on the environment. To sit around idly and do nothing would be too dangerous and steps need to be taken to ensure the long-term health and viability of our planet, the president explained.

Last year, Obama announced the Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative with the goal of improving the energy efficiency of municipal government buildings, multifamily units and commercial real estate. The president outlined his ultimate goal – to make apartment buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by the year 2020. He has now taken steps to begin that multi-year process, including teaming up with Freddie Mac, a government-backed organization that provides liquidity to a large portion of the U.S. housing market.

By demonstrating the financial value of energy efficiency, Freddie Mac will be able to influence industry practices and encourage high-level investors to put money into green apartment buildings.

While what actually comes from this partnership remains to be seen, the goal is very clear. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a third of all Americans live in an apartment building with energy bills that total over $22 billion every year. This is a market that is generally ignored by energy efficient measures, because there is often little incentive for building owners to make long-term energy investments. But the possibilities are there, and it is the hope that the government's new partnership with Freddie Mac will benefit both the environment and businesses.

Even if you don't live in an apartment building, it is important to be aware of your energy consumption. Alban Inspection recommends the use of CFL bulbs to reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint.