Preview | Gregory Kats

The energy efficiency industry faces a crisis of opportunity. Energy efficiency is increasingly recognized as indispensable if we hope to avoid the most-severe climate change costs. But energy efficiency is underfunded and is treated as a second-class energy choice.

To meet emissions reduction targets, new buildings must become far more energy-efficient, with a rapidly growing portion of new buildings achieving zero or near-zero net emissions—primarily through energy efficiency. Even more importantly, retrofits need to go from being relatively shallow today to being deep—achieving 40-plus percent reductions in building energy use rather than the 10–20 percent reductions that are the norm today. How we finance and motivate energy efficiency must change rapidly for energy efficiency to deliver on its promise of anchoring the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and largest path to CO2 reduction in existing buildings.”

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