Financing Energy Efficiency
The United States is facing a multitude of critical energy-related challenges: from climate change, to national security, to rising energy costs for consumers. The public has become more aware as the problems have become more severe, but the implementation rate of effective solutions has not kept pace. U.S. primary energy consumption did drop slightly in 2008/2009, but almost exclusively due to the economic downturn. [i] National energy consumption is expected return to pre-2008 levels once the economy recovers and to continue growing without an end in sight.
The most effective, immediate response to the energy challenge is to reduce American dependence on fossil fuels by improving the efficiency of our energy consumption, particularly within buildings. Developed countries around the world have taken advantage of the energy efficiency opportunities and developed aggressive incentive programs to promote building retrofits. In England, over 80 percent of older homes had been at least partially retrofitted with efficiency measures by 2010[ii] as compared with the largely untouched U.S. housing stock.
Considering recent political shifts and the failure of the Home Star bill in the Senate, it is clear that the U.S. will not soon be following Europe’s lead with aggressive financial incentive programs. However, even without incentives, there is a tremendous opportunity for financial and energy savings in retrofitting the US building stock. Why then, are so few people taking advantage of it? There are a number of barriers preventing building owners from pursuing efficiency opportunities. While these barriers exist to some degree in the commercial and industrial sectors, they are most pronounced in the residential sector.
Read the entire article by Tim Ballard, BRSI’s Energy Upfit Campaign Manager here…Financing Energy Efficiency- Breaking Down the Barriers