Why Energy Efficiency?

Making corporate office buildings more energy efficient is a no brainer. It's relatively easy, it saves money and doing so reduces green house gas emissions. A July 2009 McKinsey report (PDF) concluded that, “energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy – but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it.” We at EDF hope that companies start taking a closer look at the energy consumption within their buildings and take action to make them more energy efficient. Buildings are a big part of our climate problem, but the business case exists to reduce their impact. Check out the facts:

In 2007, the energy used by residential and commercial buildings accounted for 35% of U.S. GHG emissions.1 Office buildings alone are responsible for approximately 200 million metric tons of GHG emissions annually, the equivalent of 43 coal-fired power plants.2 California’s energy efficiency outreach campaign,“Flex Your Power,” estimates that most commercial buildings could cut energy use by 30% through investments in improved efficiency.3

Along with cutting GHG emissions, efficiency improvements could translate into major savings for the companies operating those buildings. The U.S. commercial sector spends $108 billion a year on building energy bills, with more than $20 billion spent on office building energy costs alone.4 According to Flex Your Power, a 50,000-square-foot office building of average operating efficiency can reduce costs by $40,000 per year just through no-cost and low-cost efficiency upgrades.5Energy efficiency upgrades also can bring long-term benefits for building owners, as asset value typically increases by an estimated $3 for every $1 invested in energy efficiency.6

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