Penn Environment has released a report calling on state and federal leaders to improve energy efficiency standards for new construction and to provide incentives for retrofitting old buildings because buildings consume 40% of U.S. total energy consumption—almost 10% of world consumption.
Adam Garber, Penn Environment Field Director, says state and federal investment would pay off in reduced costs for consumers, thousands of green jobs, and huge cuts in global warming pollution. The report analyzes specific benefits to the environment and to consumers: By 2030, Pennsylvanians could see a $1668 per year savings in their energy costs, and the state's global warming pollution could decrease 21%--the equivalent of taking 5-1/2 million cars off the road each year.
The Pennsylvania House has already passed House Bill 444 that sets forth green specifications for state buildings, according to Garber, and Penn Environment urges the senate to follow suit.
Garber says the use of existing technology could reduce overall building energy consumption 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.