Energy Efficient Buildings Would Reduce Global Warming Pollution, Save Connecticut Families $670 Annually
West Hartford, CT — Connecticut families could save $670 every year on their electricity bills by 2030 if the government invests in the energy efficiency of our buildings today, according to a new report by Environment Connecticut. Saving energy in our buildings would also help Connecticut’s fight against global warming, reducing global warming pollution from buildings by 28 percent—the equivalent of taking 3.9 million cars off the road.
“It’s time to build better,” said Environment Connecticut Energy Associate, Emily Fischer. “Bold efficiency measures for buildings can cut energy use in our homes and businesses by nearly a quarter by 2030, reducing pollution and saving consumers money.”
Right now, 40 percent of the energy used in America goes to heat, cool, and power our buildings. And because much of this energy comes from dirty and dangerous sources like coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, this accounts for nearly half of global warming pollution in the country. Furthermore, much of this energy is wasted, flying out of leaky doors and windows. This high level of energy consumption pumps billions of tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere and costs Americans nearly $4 billion every year.
Our report, Building a Better America: Saving Energy and Money with Efficiency, analyzes the benefits Connecticut would see if we committed to dramatically improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. The report uses government data to estimate reduced energy consumption, decreased fossil fuel use, money saved on energy bills, and global warming pollution prevented in 2020 and 2030.
Making our buildings more efficient would:
- Reduce the projected energy use of Connecticut’s buildings 22 percent by 2030
- Prevent the emission of 5.5 million tons of global warming pollution by 2030, the equivalent of taking 3.9 million cars off the road.
- Save the average Connecticut family of four $670 a year by 2030.
“That’s the best part about making energy efficiency improvements,” said Fischer. “They pay for themselves as consumers enjoy lower energy bills and a cleaner environment year after year.”
Environment Connecticut is calling for policies that will help us reach our efficiency goals, including:
- Steady improvements to building codes over time so that all new buildings are increasingly efficient, culminating in a zero net energy standard by 2030, when new buildings should be so efficient that they can produce all the energy they need on site using renewable energy like wind and solar.
- Investing in energy retrofits and weatherization to improve the efficiency of existing buildings 30 percent by 2030.
- Supporting innovative financing mechanisms that will unleash public and private investment in building efficiency.
As documented in this report, successful efficiency programs and incentives at the federal, state, and local level are already paying off, saving consumers money and dramatically reducing energy use. For example, Mary and George’s home in Killingworth is an example of the kind of house we could achieve anywhere one day. Even in chilly New England, they constructed a beautiful, livable house that produces 7 percent more energy than it consumes.
“There are already thousands of super-efficient buildings all around the country, like the Keithans’ house” concluded Fischer. “Most buildings last for decades, so investing in energy efficiency locks in savings for years to come and builds a strong foundation for the future of our environment and our economy.”