THE U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) claim that investing in building energy efficiency is central to the country reducing its energy consumption by 23 percent by 2020, saving $1.2 trillion – showing it truly does pay to improve energy efficiency.
The conclusion comes from a study sponsored by USGBC on the benefits of green buildings, combined with other non-transportation initiatives. Apart from the substantial monetary savings, environmentally it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 gigatons annually.
The Council argues that focussing on the construction and upgrade of buildings to be energy efficient would also create millions of jobs, as well as adding over half a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy over the next four years.
Due to these findings and the many similar estimates over recent times, it is notable that the U.S. federal and state governments have shifted their focus to green buildings, with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) already releasing $4.5 billion for the upgrade of federal buildings and $6.3 billion improving state level energy efficiency.
Apart from the federal investment, the private sector is also taken more action along similar lines, and with around 5 million commercial buildings across the US currently paying out over $100 billion annually in energy costs. It is now accepted by most in the business community that the cost of energy efficiency upgrades can be recovered quickly due to the reduction in operational costs.
According to the study many analysts are predicting an increase in investment in the green buildings industry.
It is also accepted by experts that energy efficiency technology is not be as sexy as solar panels or wind turbines, but such technology is one of the fastest, most effective ways of reducing energy consumption, emissions and costs.