Washington D.C. looking to lead the way on energy efficiency

With the Obama Administration aiming to revive an eco-friendly campaign for nationwide energy efficiency, what better place to set an example for the rest of the country than Washington D.C. itself? That's the goal for Mayor Vincent Gray's new Sustainable DC project, designed to make the national's capitol into the United States' greenest, most environmentally-friendly city.

Greentech Media reports that Sustainable DC launched its Build Smart DC initiative on Thursday, August 1, to create complete transparency of the types of building materials used in city construction projects. By creating a clear account of building stock, Sustainable DC can work to implement greater energy efficient standards for homes, businesses and federal agencies in the city. The ultimate goal is to reduce the energy consumption of 400 Washington municipal facilities – which amounts to half of the city's over-30-million square feet of municipal properties – by 20 percent over the next 20 months.

"We're trying to embrace truly transparent data to create tremendous savings," Sam Brooks, the associate director of Washington's Energy & Sustainability office, said in a statement. "Our hope is that it's nothing less than a groundbreaking and transformational initiative."

Washington D.C. spends $65 million on energy expenses every year. By reducing consumption and using cost-cutting, efficient methods, Brooks hopes the program will establish some substantial cash flows back into the city.

Homeowners in the area can work to create their own energy-savings by scheduling an appointment for a home inspection. DC home inspectors can assess your property and issue an energy audit that identifies ways in which your house may be wasting power and unnecessarily driving up your utility bills.