Investing in Efficiency Is Lucrative, but It Faces Key Barriers

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Investing in Efficiency Is Lucrative, but It Faces Key Barriers

Gita Subramony for Zondits, February 17, 2015

The New York Times recently ran an opinion piece by David Bornstein on energy efficiency. Bornstein asserts that investing in energy efficiency provides a great return on investment and has little risk. He cites a 2012 study showing that retrofitting buildings to increase efficiency could result in $1 trillion in savings in the space of a decade for the USA, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s almost too good to be true. Though energy savings and cost savings are real, implementing these building upgrades can be a bit of a challenge. First, estimating the savings from the projects can be difficult – having reliable and accurate savings analyses helps move projects forward. Additionally, many building owners have trouble allocating funds to these types of investment and many times key decision-makers are not aware of the benefits of energy efficiency projects. Bornstein examines the work of the Sustainable Endowments Institute and how the organization has assisted colleges and universities with addressing these key barriers to implementing energy efficiency retrofits on campuses across the USA.

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