Investing in Energy Efficiency for Buildings is Smart, says World Resources Institute

May 10, 2016 By Ken Silverstein

energy efficiency concept energy manageWant to cut energy cost while reducing carbon emissions? Building efficiency provides the “most bang for the buck,” according to the World Resources Institute.

“Efficiency improvements in buildings often have low or no marginal cost, or provide a return on investment in the form of energy cost savings in as quickly as six months to a year,” writes Eric Mackres, manager, building efficiency for the group. “This is a significant difference from emissions-saving investments in other sectors such as agriculture or transport, which are relatively expensive or result in lower emissions reductions.”

He also says that the construction sector represents 10 percent of the global gross domestic product, and that will grow to 6 percent by 2025. Buildings are 40 year investments, he notes, meaning don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Investments in buildings reap returns. For example, each additional $1 invested on energy efficiency avoids more than $2 on energy supply spending, he says.

“Globally, buildings and construction are responsible for 60 percent of electricity use, 12 percent of water use, 40 percent of waste, and 40 percent of material resource use,” he writes.

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