CO2 SAVING POTENTIAL OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY

by  Attila Talamon

February 26, 2013

Buildings hold great potential for cost-effective energy savings. The International Energy Agency estimates that the energy savings
potential in this sector in 2009 will be in the range of 20 exajoules (EJ) per year by 2030, which is the same
as the current annual electricity consumption of the United States and Japan combined.

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Barriers such as split incentives between tenants and landlords, lack of awareness of efficient technologies,
absence of qualified “green” technicians and high initial investment costs threaten market-driven energy
savings measures.

Governments can eliminate these barriers and achieve building sector energy savings by implementing a
package of policies. In particular, governments should:

- Require all new buildings, as well as buildings undergoing renovation, to meet energy codes and
minimum energy performance standards (MEPS).

- Support and encourage the construction of buildings with net-zero energy consumption.

- Implement policies to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings with emphasis on significant
improvements to building envelopes and systems during renovations.

- Require building energy performance labels or certificates that provide information to owners, buyers and renters.

- Establish policies to improve the energy efficiency performance of critical building components in order
to improve the overall energy performance of new and existing buildings.

 

Source: IEA, 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations 2011