To mitigate growth in building energy consumption, declines in energy use intensity for both residential and commercial buildings must outpace additions of square footage. Our analysis demonstrates that due to efficiency gains, average commercial physical energy use intensity declines by 42% (from 82 kBTU/square foot in 2010 to 48 kBTU/square foot in 2050). The average residential physical energy use intensity declines by 60% (from 58 kBTU/square foot in 2010 to 23 kBTU/square foot in 2050).
U.S. Energy Information Administration. 2010. Annual Energy Outlook 2010. Washington DC: U.S. Energy Information Administration, May. link
National Academy of Sciences. 2010. Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.