WASHINGTON, DC— Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today praised the Obama Administration for extending the Better Buildings Challenge for an additional five years. Last month, Himes and over 100 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama requesting an extension of the program, which has realized $2 billion in energy savings for the federal government since it began in 2011.

“I am extremely pleased that President Obama has decided to extend this successful program to allow the federal government – as well as commercial buildings, state and local governments and, now, multifamily housing units – to continue working with the private sector to find additional energy savings,” said Himes. “The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use at all, and I am encouraged by the Administration’s commitment to ensure the federal government – America’s largest consumer of energy – is reducing its footprint. This is a very good start, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to continue the success this program has already had over the next five years.”

Since the initiative began in 2011, the Better Buildings Challenge has led agencies to identify an estimated $2.3 billion in savings through the implementation of energy-efficiency measures in federal buildings. The program, which was set to expire at the end of this year, will now continue through 2016. Himes’ letter called for a new goal of $5 billion in additional savings over the next five years. The White House did not set a specific monetary goal for 2016.