By CP Editorial Staff - June 2007 - Energy Efficiency
A recent proposal from the International Energy Agency (IEA) to improve energy efficiency of buildings has been endorsed by the Group of 8 at its recent summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.
According to the IEA, buildings account for 40 percent of energy used in developed countries. Among the recommendations for cutting energy use:
-Improving energy standards in building codes for countries that already have them. Energy efficiency standards should be set to minimize costs over 30 years. Countries that don't yet have energy standards in their codes should adopt them.
-Passive energy homes or zero energy buildings should be used as a benchmark for energy efficiency standards in future updates of building codes. Governments should set a target to boost the market share (currently less than 1 percent) of such buildings by 2020.
-Governments should offer incentives to improve the efficiency of existing buildings. The energy consumption of buildings worldwide could be cut in half through renovation over the course of 30 years, IEA says.
-Incandescent lighting should be phased out as soon as possible.
The recommendations from the IEA were part of a broader list of 12 energy efficiency policy recommendations submitted to the G8 that also covered transportation and appliances. The annual economic summit is made up of eight of the world's largest economies — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.