Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
Buildings - Society-wide financial and energy use implications of Reinventing Fire for buildings sector 8 Items
With significant investments in efficient technologies and smart controls—probably requiring a transformation of the real-estate industry—the U.S. can achieve building energy savings of 38%. With the widespread adoption of integrative design, those savings could potentially rise to 69%. Both figures assume a 70% increase in floorspace by 2050.
Beyond the immediately apparent benefits of energy savings and cost reductions, highly efficient buildings can infer a range of additional benefits. Health and productivity benefits in particular can often account for significant savings that are even greater than the entire energy budget.
Integrative design can significantly increase the efficiency opportunity in the U.S. buildings sector. For all four subsectors, integrative design can increase the size of the efficiency opportunity by more than half.
Beyond Reinventing Fire
, there are many other studies assessing the U.S. efficiency potential. Despite differences in their assumptions, all studies conclude that the efficiency opportunity is significant and we must pursue it aggressively.
Since 1960, California has outpaced the rest of the nation in adopting energy efficiency. Policies, investments, and business leadership have kept per capita electricity consumption in California steady since 1980, while it almost doubled nationwide.
Building codes, federal standards, and implementation programs by utilities and nonprofits have delivered 20% electricity savings in the Northwest over the past 30 years.
States like California that have prioritized efficiency have achieved significant energy savings. Codes and standards have traditionally been the largest driver for efficiency in Californian residential and commercial buildings.
If the U.S. can leverage the best practices from integrative design in new construction and retrofits, the savings will be dramatic. U.S. buildings 2050 use of electricity and natural gas will be 60% less than it is today. The “Other Fuels” still being used in 2050 would not include oil—just firewood and occasional wastes, and a bit of bottled gas in rural areas that don’t have pipeline gas.