Raising the Roof: How To Create Wealth Through Buildings

GLOBE-Net, July 16, 2013 – Although the global energy efficiency market could be worth $245 billion per year by 2020, project uptake has been miniscule in comparison to its potential. This situation is about to change due to a variety of innovations in finance, technology, and policy, according to a new report by the Carbon War Room.  

The report, “Raising the Roof: How to Create Climate Wealth through Efficient Buildings“, cites significant upfront capital costs, risk misperceptions, misaligned financial interests, and the lack of information as key barriers undermining the potential of the global market. Despite the nascence of the market, rapid expansion is expected over the next 18 months due to:

  •  A whole suite of “Big Data” products hitting the market, ranging from digital audits, retro commissioning, and optimization, will enable asset owners to save up to 25% on their energy bill with little or no upfront capital expense.

[stextbox id=”custom” bcolor=”ADD3D5″ bgcolor=”ADD3D5″ image=”null”] “Today we are on the brink of a significant acceleration in adoption of energy efficiency solutions due to major technological and financial innovations.” José María Figueres, President, Carbon War Room[/stextbox]

  •  Significant progress in financial innovations, like Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), On-Bill Repayment, and Energy Savings Agreements (ESAs) are now maturing and expanding in scope.
  •  Also, new proposed structures like using Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) for Energy Efficiency have the potential to vastly grow the capital available for retrofits.
  •  Market-enabling policy innovations, ranging from benchmarking ordinances like Australia’s NABERS program, Singapore’s Energy Conservation Act, the UK’s “Green Deal”, and utility de-coupling in the United States, are helping drive retrofits. 

Currently, there is an opportunity worldwide to abate carbon at a gigaton-scale using profitable, market-based energy efficiency solutions. These solutions do not require government subsidy or changes in policy and regulation.

For example, the United States alone currently spends more than $400 billion each year to power its homes and commercial buildings and is responsible for almost 40% of the nation’s CO2 emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that commercial buildings could be made up to 80% more efficient with new and existing technologies.

Yet, despite the macro-opportunity, individual asset owners or sustainability directors of municipalities still face the challenge of determining the best approach and the best options available to them.

To help, the report provides a step-by-step guide on how to differentiate between the various technologies and financial mechanisms, as illustrated by the graphic below.



The report represents the culmination of three years of work by War Room across 30 cities around the world. It assesses the current ‘state of play’ on market barriers and solutions facing multiple sectors, with case studies offered from a range of cities, including San Francisco, Washington DC, Vancouver, and Wellington, New Zealand.

About the Carbon War Room

The world today has both the technology and the policy in place to tackle at least 50% of the climate challenge. Now, across a range of major global industries, we must break down market barriers in order to shift capital towards the low-carbon technologies and business models that will prove extremely profitable – thereby creating climate wealth. The Carbon War Room takes a global, sector-based approach. The War Room’s current Operations include: Maritime Shipping Efficiency, Green Capital, Renewable Jet Fuels, Smart Island Economies, and Trucking Efficiency.  For more information go to: www.carbonwarroom.com

‘Energy Efficiency and Best Practices in Green Building’  will be a key topic of discussion at GLOBE 2014, the next in the celebrated GLOBE Series Conferences on the business of the environment taking place in Vancouver Canada, March 26-28, 2014. Reserve your place now.   Check here for more details.

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