Convincing America to enact energy efficiency measures, upgrades

August 21, 2012

The move to a more energy efficient country and a more sustainable infrastructure for the American corporate world is one that may not occur overnight, but there are things that can be done by people in Washington, D.C. and local governments. However, the speed at which the transformation is occurring needs to be expedited, as energy consumption rates are not falling fast enough.

According to a research report from the Institute for Building Efficiency, there are many targets that have been set by benchmarking organizations and governments around the world, and efforts like the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative have set goals that would require action by 2030.

The scale and pace of these action may prove to be insufficient, and buildings need to be engines of the sustainable, energy efficient economy, according to the news outlet.

Government policy options need to be more aggressive in terms of curbing energy use and promoting retrofitting projects, and the U.S. Department of Energy is hoping that the innovation Hub it designated to promote progress in the sector is going to initiate a change more rapidly.

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) is comprised of the brightest minds from some of America's leading institutions in academia, the private sector, energy development companies and government agencies. Together, these individuals are hoping to stimulate a change in the commercial real estate market in Philadelphia, which would then serve as a national model for transforming the building stock of other cities in the U.S.

Involving the economic benefits of energy efficient buildings into discussions about the nation's building stock is one way to initiate the change, according to the Institute for Building Efficiency.

"Each $1 spent on energy efficiency avoids more than $2, on average, in energy supply investments. Investments in building efficiency free up scarce resources for other purposes.  Buildings consume nearly 40 percent of energy globally. Building efficiency has the potential to slow the growth of energy demand significantly in developing countries," said the organization in the report.

However, there needs to be a bipartisan effort on the part of the government in order for this change to occur, according to the National Journal. Numerous bills have been brought before Congress, only to have their contents overshadowed by squabbles between the two parties.