Bryan Kilgore for Zondits, March 13, 2015
In California, commercial buildings account for the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and their contribution is increasing. Among California Governor Jerry Brown’s initiatives are plans to double the efficiency of California’s existing buildings by 2030. It is not economically feasible to tear down an existing building and start over, when a majority of building in California will still be standing 50 years from now. Energy efficiency programs will be required to retrofit buildings to double their efficiency. California is well positioned for this goal, with their existing and mature energy efficiency programs.
California’s New Energy Efficiency Challenge
JD Supra, March 5, 2015
California Governor Jerry Brown, sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term, recently revealed an ambitious new plan to address the impacts of climate change over the next 15 years. The Governor’s bold initiatives include a plan to double the efficiency of California’s existing buildings by 2030.
The energy, industrial and transportation sectors often garner most of the focus and attention in climate-change conversations because they collectively account for approximately eighty percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. But commercial buildings also account for a significant percentage of emissions, a point not lost on California’s governor.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (published in April 2014), approximately five percent (5%) of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are generated by the operation of commercial buildings. This figure increases when emissions from electricity generation are included, given the significant electricity consumption by commercial buildings for lighting, heating, air conditioning, and operating appliances. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that commercial buildings on a national basis account for thirty-five percent (35%) of domestic electricity consumption.