IEA promotes energy efficiency of buildings

I have been writing it for months, and it seems that I am right as no other than the International Energy Agency is now urging to act on energy efficiency of buildings.

Indeed, their latest publication is on this topic and their findings corroborate the ones I had in my master’s thesis. They also go a lot further.

This is the third time I report the IEA urging its country members to act on energy conservation. Hope it will pay off soon and that they’ll be heard.

According to their press release :

“Energy efficiency is by far the most cost-effective way to fulfil three major energy-related challenges: increased energy security, reduced energy costs and a cleaner environment. “With surging energy consumption, high energy prices and raising CO2 emissions, the imperative to improve energy efficiency is stronger than ever”, said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). “On this road to a sustainable energy future, action in the building sector can play a key role.”

Existing buildings are responsible for over 40% of the world’s total primary energy consumption and account for 24% of world CO2 emissions. An impressive amount of energy could be saved simply by applying energy-efficient technologies and practices. Yet despite the proven cost-effectiveness of these technologies, a significant proportion of potential energy efficiency improvements remain untapped due to numerous market barriers.

Promoting Energy Efficiency Investments: Case Studies in the Residential Sector highlights these issues. The new IEA publication, prepared in collaboration with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), draws on experiences in Japan, the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom providing illustrations of policies and measures to improve energy efficiency in existing residential buildings.

Each case includes relevant background and contextual information, as well as an evaluation of each policy according to five-predefined criteria: relevance, effectiveness, flexibility, clarity and sustainability.

The market barriers inhibiting increased energy efficiency in residential buildings take many forms. They include difficulties in accessing capital, low priority of energy issues, the presence of information asymmetries and principal-agent problems – or split incentives between investors and energy end-users (e.g. between a landlord and a tenant.

The book draws five policy lessons from these experiences. First, given that financial barriers in the residential building sector are numerous and complex, multi-policy packages are needed to address multiple barriers at the same time. Second, public-private partnerships offer the best opportunity to meet the five evaluation criteria.

Third, the creation of a market for energy efficiency is necessary to increase sustainably energy efficiency in the building sector. Fourth, market transformation will require increased private sector involvement, which must be triggered by strong political will to create the necessary conditions. Lastly, the national context plays a determining role in the success or failure of policies.

Promoting Energy Efficiency Investments also identifies the crucial need for more systematic data collection on programmes implemented; such data is currently scarce and renders policy analysis and comparisons between countries more difficult.

“Our study identifies many effective policies to help overcome financial barriers to increased energy efficiency in buildings”, said Mr. Tanaka, “and that more systematic data collection is essential to allow policy makers to understand trends and design the most appropriate policy packages to tackle these issues”.

To learn out more, please refer to Promoting Energy Efficiency Investments.

And you, what do you think about energy efficiency in housing ? Be sure that I will keep you posted on this topic.

So, for this and for much more, stay tuned and don’t hesitate to leave your opinion on this topic and write a comment as I would gladly read you.

2 thoughts on “IEA promotes energy efficiency of buildings”

  1. Increased energy efficiency is a win-win situation; people don’t have to sacrifice any comforts, and the environment benefits, and people save money.

  2. First thanks for posting ! 🙂

    Yeah you’re right Joe, increasing the energy efficiency is a win win situation.

    Lester Brown would also say win win win solution as everybody benefits from that, as well as the planet.

    Hope you will keep on reading this blog and you will be satisfied by what you will find here… me I am defitively looking forward for reading your next articles ! 🙂

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