The Houston Medical Center Thermal Energy Corporation Control Room. | Photo Courtesy of the Texas Medical Center

Secretary Chu traveled to Houston, Texas, today to meet with executives from various oil and gas companies, host a State of the Union Town Hall with students from Houston Community College, and tour the Texas Medical Center -- which recently completed a series of major energy efficiency upgrades.

As part of his blueprint to build an economy to last, President Obama has called for an all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. This strategy is focused on safely and responsibly developing our oil and gas resources while investing in clean energy to win the race for the energy jobs of the future.  

Texas will play a large role in this strategy. The state is the nation's top producer of oil and natural gas, leads the country in installed capacity for wind and has high solar potential. It also consumes more energy than any other state. That’s why energy efficiency is so important in the Lone Star State. Last week, Mayor Parker announced that Houston joined the Better Building Challenge, which seeks to improve commercial building energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020. Through this initiative, the city has committed to improving energy efficiency in 30 million square feet of public and private buildings.

With the support of $10 million in federal funding, the Texas Medical Center Thermal Energy Corporation completed upgrades to a 48 megawatt combined heat and power plant last year and is expected to save approximately $11 million in energy costs per year.

Secretary Chu's visit builds on the President’s State of the Union address last week, where he outlined a new era for American energy and presented a blueprint for an American economy built to last, based on American-made energy resources and clean energy innovation. He called for “an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy,” including natural gas and renewable energy resources. The President also highlighted the importance of energy efficiency in saving money for families and businesses and making American companies and industries more competitive.