Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

The Southern Company (SO), Alcoa Inc (AA): Does This Government Program Actually Work?

How much does the United States spend every year to power our country’s commercial buildings and manufacturing centers? Go ahead, ballpark it.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)Fools, its $400 billion. Four hundred billion! That number is huge. But the nice part about huge numbers is that, at least in this case, minor changes can yield savings numbers that are relatively high. That’s the goal of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. More specifically, the project aims to cut energy use by 20% by 2020.

The program launched in December 2011. Now that it’s received and processed a full year of data, let’s look at how it’s performed and what investors should take away from it all.

The program
The Better Buildings Challenge is geared to create jobs and reduce our energy waste, in turn saving buckets of cash. The goal of the program is to get our country’s leading organizations — be they corporations, universities, or city governments — to cut energy use in their buildings by 20% over a 10-year period. So who’s on board? Maybe some of your best investments.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)‘s Georgia Power subsidiary is a founding partner of Atlanta’s Better Buildings Challenge, which aims to reduce energy consumption and water consumption by 20% by 2020. Georgia Power’s headquarters in the city are currently in phase one of the program , and the company played a leading role developing the energy use audit process for the program.

Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) is a big-time energy consumer, using about 40 trillion BTUs to power 29 industrial facilities every year. Since its baseline year in 2005, the company has reduced its energy use by 12%, including a 1% drop in 2012.

Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE:JCI) is in the business of building efficiency, so it was no surprise when the company joined the initiative this February. It has made some significant commitments, including reducing its energy consumption by 25% in 71 of its U.S. manufacturing facilities by 2019. If you think that sounds ambitious, remember that this company previously reduced energy consumption by 25% between 2002 and 2008.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) also jumped on board in Febraury, plediging to drop energy consumption 20% by 2017. Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is not new to implementing environmentally friendly energy initiatives, currently generating 5% of its energy from renewable sources.

3M Co (NYSE:MMM) has signed on to reduce energy consumption by 25% in 95 of its plants. The conglomerate has set aside $1 million in each of the past two years to implement energy efficiency projects. It has already managed to drop its energy use 23% from its baseline level in 2005.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.