In partnership with AESP: The increasing roles of DERs, connected technology and Big Data are driving rapid change in energy efficiency. As we shape the Utility of the future, this community will help you keep up with the latest developments. 

Post

Commercial buildings could use a weatherization stimulus, too.

image credit: Courtesy Dreamstime
Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 712 items added with 345,649 views
  • Jun 6, 2022
  • 356 views

The U.S. government put nearly $4 billion into its decades-old Weatherization Assistance Program, which aims to help low-income families retrofit their homes to make it more energy-efficient. In the early days of the program, this might mean replacing drafty windows and adding better insulation. Today, it means replacing light bulbs, old appliances and swapping out gas-powered heat pumps. 

With its current purse, the program will aim to serve 700,000 households, reducing emissions by a reported 2.65 metric tons per year. This is an important and critical program, but it might serve the country's climate goals to also stimulate a commercial building weatherization program as well, with a focus on comprehensive retrofitting. 

Understandably, there might be a hesitancy among taxpayers to finance the weatherization of a private business that should be doing the work on its own; however, commercial buildings are major players in the country's emissions and energy use, and tackling efficiency in the commercial sector could pay off major dividends. Commerical buildings consume 35% of the energy consumed in the U.S. and contribute 16% of the country's carbon emissions. They consume more energy than all of Canada and, on top of all that, 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. 

A recent paper out of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says comprehensive retrofits of commercial building could cut their energy use by 40%. The U.S. Dept. of Energy has a Commercial Buildings Integration program aimed specifically at this type of work in the private sector. Perhaps it, too, would benefit from a few billion dollars. In fact, I think the country as a whole, and its climate goals, would benefit. 

 

Christopher Neely's picture
Thank Christopher for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member
Discussions
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.
Maggie Mowrer's picture
Maggie Mowrer on Jun 8, 2022

Would it not be better to just require a certain level of energy efficiency in buildings? That way it wouldn't be a taxpayer problem and the government could get income from fines for not complying.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »