A recently released McKinsey report (McKinsey & Co., Washington), sponsored by USGBC, Washington, and several other organizations, indicates that investing $50 billion in the energy efficiency of buildings and other non-transportation initiatives throughout the next 10 years could reduce the nation’s energy consumption by 23% by 2020, save the U.S. economy $1.2 trillion, and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 gigatons. This level of investment is also projected to generate 900,000 jobs.
“This confirms a critical path forward that we have long championed. Harnessing the engine of green, energy-efficient buildings can cost-effectively drive tremendous improvements in our economy and environment,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC. “Green building can stimulate the economy at a level one and a half times larger than the federal stimulus bill. In terms of climate change, a commitment to energy efficiency would be the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger cars and light trucks—more than 200-million vehicles—off the road.”
The energy efficiency potential cited in the report is divided across three sectors of the U.S. economy:
- industrial, 40% of the end-use energy efficiency potential
- residential, 35%
- commercial, 25%.
The report calls for an integrated national plan guided by five principles:
- Recognize energy efficiency as an important energy resource that can help meet future energy needs, while the nation simultaneously develops new no- and low-carbon energy sources.
- Formulate and launch, at both the national and regional levels, an integrated portfolio of proven, piloted, and emerging approaches.
- Identify methods to provide the significant upfront funding.
- Forge greater alignment among utilities, regulators, government agencies, manufacturers, and energy consumers.
- Foster innovation in the development and deployment of next-generation, energy-efficiency technologies to ensure continuing productivity gains.
To download the report, click here.—Gary L. Parr