New projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are more encouraging. Architecture 2030’s triumphant report on the new federal numbers says, “Improved building design and efficiency has put the 2030 Challenge energy reduction target within reach".
EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) predicts, among other things, the total energy use of residential and commercial buildings; that section of the AEO has been lower each year, with 2011 projections nearly 70 percent below estimates reached in 2005. This is due in part to revised projections about new construction rates: the 2005 AEO predicted that total U.S. building floor area would grow by more than half by 2030, with energy consumption rising by 44.4 percent and CO2 emissions by 53.1 percent. But with total floor area projected to grow by only 38.6 percent and greater efficiency taken into account, those numbers have plummeted to 13.7 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, a drop in projected energy consumption amounting to a difference of 21.3 quadrillion Btu (QBtu). Architecture 2030 predicts that energy use for the building sector would actually decrease by 2030 if “best available technology” were used—with projected energy consumption at –9. 2percent and CO2 emissions at –16.5 percent compared with 2005.
These promising results have led the organization to declare a redoubling of its efforts, including promotion of advanced building energy codes.
Copyright 2012 by BuildingGreen Inc.