Climate and Energy Policies Working

May 4, 2016 By Carl Weinschenk

commercial buildings Energy ManageProud Green Building today posted a piece on the success of climate and energy policies in commercial and residential buildings in the United States.

The post cites estimates from Dr. Margaret Walls, a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, who found that 15 cities in the United States have benchmarking and disclosure laws. Some cities have “stretch” building codes in place that require new buildings to exceed those in the base code. Boston is cited as an example: It requires new buildings to be 20 percent more efficient than limits set in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.

The piece also says that creative financing programs such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. These programs enable building owners to pay loans through property taxes. Other inducements and incentives include renewable energy requirements and utility and governmental rebates.

It can be a winner for the building owners as well. The piece cited research from Resources for the Future that estimated utility bills dropped by an average of about 3 percent in office buildings covered by efficiency laws in Austin, New York City, Seattle and San Francisco.

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