The U.S. Green Building Council has released a new report that examines how policymakers can use existing programs to improve energy efficiency in both multifamily housing units as well as commercial buildings. The report, Using Executive Authority to Achieve Green Buildings (PDF), reviews more than 30 existing federal programs with billions of dollars in funding. These existing programs can be used by the Obama administration to improve energy efficiency in these two building sectors without the need for new legislative action.

The government is already working on energy efficiency efforts in federally owned buildings. The knowledge of the importance of green building is already there, so the logical next step is to get the Obama administration to utilize these available programs to improve energy efficiency in multifamily housing and commercial buildings.

“As an early adopter of green buildings and the LEED green building certification system, the federal government has been a leader in bringing green buildings to cities and towns across America,” said Roger Platt, Senior Vice President, Global Policy & Law, USGBC. “This new report unveils an even larger opportunity for the Obama Administration to increase our nation’s energy efficiency, while creating thousands of jobs and saving taxpayers money.” (Source: USGBC)

Green building is closely tied with green jobs. As more companies begin to consider energy efficiency upgrades, they need to hire experienced contractors. From energy auditors to solar panel installers, energy efficient retrofits will help get Americans back on the job.

The report makes several recommendations including using Small Business Administration funding to help provide support for small businesses that wish to invest in energy efficiency, integrate energy efficiency and sustainability standards into competitive grants and funding formulas, and greening federal banking regulations.

The USGBC had several partners in this new report including The American Institute of Architects, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Energy Future Coalition. To learn more about the energy efficient measures proposed in the report, download it now: Using Executive Authority to Achieve Green Buildings: A Guide for Policymakers to Enhance Sustainability and Efficiency in Multifamily Housing and Commercial Buildings (PDF).