All posts by Elizabeth Beardsley

View BCSE’s 2017 Factbook for Updated Statistics on Energy Efficiency in the United States

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As a member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is pleased to announce the BCSE’s release of the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. The 2017 Factbook was developed by the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The 2017 Factbook shows that American energy productivity has increased by 10 percent from 2011 to 2016. In 2016, GDP grew 1.6 percent, while energy consumption fell 0.2 percent. Several top-line findings connect to the building energy efficiency market:

- Data shows how energy efficiency measures have contributed to a dramatic drop in consumer spending on energy. In 2016, consumers devoted less than 4 percent of their total annual household spending to energy, the smallest share ever recorded, due to a combination of efficiency and reduced energy costs.

- Electric utility investment in efficiency reached an all-time high of $6.3 billion in 2015 (the latest year available), with increases in residential and commercial efficiency.

- As of 2016, 4.3 billion square feet of U.S. commercial building floor space was Energy Star-certified. This represents approximately 5 percent of total floor space in U.S. commercial buildings.

Additionally, the Factbook finds that “state-level policies remain equally if not more important [than federal] in driving the sustainable energy transition,” with highlights including gains in property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, benchmarking and energy codes. In 2016, for example, PACE availability expanded as Nevada signed off on legislation to allow for its financing, and Atlanta, Georgia, and Loudon County, Virginia, began developing new PACE programs.

Beyond energy efficiency, the Factbook includes U.S. energy statistics in natural gas production and use and renewable energy deployment. 2016 set a new record for annual renewable energy capacity additions, as the U.S. added a whopping 22 GW of renewable generating capacity, over half of which was from solar. For a deep dive at the state level, check out the Factbook’s state slides.

Article reposted with permission from USGBC.