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Huge Savings for California to Be Found in Commercial Building Efficiency

July 2010 - Energy Efficiency


Electricity consumed by commercial office buildings represents 37 percent of California's total electricity consumption, according to a recent study. Based on the U.S. average, energy efficiency improvements could cut that usage by 80 percent, the study says.

The study from Next 10, Untapped Potential of Commercial Buildings: Energy Use and Emissions, examines the untapped energy efficiency potential held by existing and new commercial buildings in California, analyzes obstacles to achieving widespread adoption of building efficiencies and explores approaches to removing these barriers.

The study found that only 60 percent of all new commercial building construction meets California energy efficiency standards and that California has no energy efficiency standards for existing building stock, which could yield substantial savings in energy.

Among other findings, energy efficiency efforts are held back for various reasons: a lack of incentives for developers and ineffective installation and inspection methods in new construction, and split incentives, elevated hurdle rates, upfront capital costs, and an information gap in existing buildings.



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