3.3 Existing Buildings (Ch. 11)

Existing buildings account for 75% of U.S. electricity consumption. The DDPP reports call for a drastic reduction of GHG emissions attributable to buildings, ranging from 87% to 96% depending upon the scenario. Because buildings have long useful lives, the only way to achieve the goal is to retrofit a majority of our existing buildings. The chapter discusses six legal pathways that, when used in combination, may accomplish the objective: energy audits; mandatory retrofit laws; energy-efficiency performance standards for new buildings; voluntary certification systems; switching from fossils fuels to low-carbon electricity; and financing programs.