Activity in more than 20 U.S. states is rolling up into a “promising upward trend” for ultra-low energy (ULE) buildings, and the momentum is beginning to move into existing structures as well as new construction, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reports this week in a post for The Energy Collective.
“This is great news, because a highly efficient building stock is one of the cornerstones of a prosperous clean energy economy,” writes Buildings Program Director Jennifer Thorne Amann. An inventory of front-line activity for an ACEEE white paper turned up initiatives that “demonstrate technical approaches for slashing energy use, establish technical guidance and energy intensity targets for ULE buildings, and certify post-retrofit energy use. Others aim to deliver deep retrofits at a larger scale.”
Those efforts, she adds, “were developed and operate largely outside the realm of utilities and other traditional energy efficiency program administrators.”
Thorne Amann says the scope of the challenge demands “a comprehensive set of complementary policies, programs, and initiatives, along with strategic research, to achieve a high level of ULE building performance in our existing building stock.” The white paper calls for a suite of solutions, including aggressive efficiency targets, carefully-designed program mandates and policy rules, a focus on building community and engaging occupants, and a determination to “meet customers where they are through flexible program offerings that address their needs and interests.”