Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings

Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings: Learning from the European Union and Australia

Charles P. Ries
Joseph Jenkins
Oliver Wise
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 60
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings
    Book Description:

    This study examines how policies to increase energy efficiency in buildings in the European Union and Australia have worked and draws implications for the design of similar public policies for the United States. It appears that effective policies to promote energy efficiency can be devised using information disclosure, building codes, financial incentives, and benchmarking. Insights are presented to help designers of analogous U.S. policies.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4872-1
    Subjects: Political Science, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  6. Acronyms
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Commercial building space¹ accounts for about 18 percent of all energy consumption in the United States and is the fastest growing sector in end-use consumption (Alliance to Save Energy, 2008). From 1950 to 2006, end-use energy consumption by commercial buildings grew by 2.8 percent each year. This growth was a consequence of two developments: (1) increases in the stock of commercial buildings, and (2) shifts away from natural gas or other primary fuels toward electricity and the accompanying system energy losses (Andrews and Krogmann, 2009). Another trend affecting electricity consumption within buildings was the increasing use of electrical equipment, often...

  8. CHAPTER TWO European Approaches
    (pp. 7-12)

    Early European energy security efforts focused on increasing Europe’s energy supply, not on moderating demand for energy (David, 2007). After Denmark joined the European Economic Community¹ in 1973, this focus began to change. Denmark brought with it a different set of ideas based on an energy policy of controlling demand (David, 2007). Prior to its first rotation as President of the Council of Ministers, Denmark began advocating a demand-based approach to European energy policy.

    The first fruit of this approach was a proposal for a directive on a system for energy audits of EU buildings in 1987 (David, 2007). The...

  9. CHAPTER THREE Australian Approaches
    (pp. 13-18)

    Australian policy for promoting energy efficiency in buildings is based on a mix of market-based, regulatory, disclosure, and financial approaches. In general, states, especially New South Wales, have pursued more aggressive energy efficiency policies than the national government has, especially market-based strategies.

    Australia’s history with market-based approaches to achieving energy efficient buildings is tied to its experience with carbon-dioxide-emissions trading programs. In 2003, Australia’s largest state, New South Wales (whose population of 6.9 million constitutes roughly one-third of Australia’s total population), started a carbon-dioxide-emissions trading program called the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS). Under GGAS, major emitters of greenhouse gases,...

  10. CHAPTER FOUR Key Issues in Buildings Energy Efficiency Programs
    (pp. 19-32)

    As we have seen, the EU and Australia have instituted significant new public policies to promote energy efficiency in the “built environment.” Many of these public policies were motivated by the same concerns that led to the pioneering voluntary initiatives of Green Building Councils (especially the LEED design certification program) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR system for buildings.

    However, policy initiatives on both continents are relatively new, have been recently modified, and are yet to be finalized. Further, in both Europe and Australia, there is wide variety in the transposition of the general approach at the national-government...

  11. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 33-38)

    Some 40 percent of the primary energy used in developed countries is used to heat, cool, and light buildings or is utilized within buildings. Estimates by the IPCC, analyses by McKinsey & Company, and other studies have noted opportunities to achieve substantial, relatively lowcost improvements in energy efficiency in commercial real estate. In recent years, the EU and its member nations and the Australian Commonwealth and some of its states and territories have pioneered public policies to promote energy efficiency in buildings. These policies are still in their development phases. The EU recently proposed amendments to its landmark 2002 EPBD that...

  12. APPENDIX: List of Interviewees
    (pp. 39-40)
  13. References
    (pp. 41-44)