Making buildings 30 percent more energy efficient would save $34 billion per year

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Energy efficiency is a good business decision for businesses, homeowners and the government, said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. UTC Climate, Controls & Security is a unit of United Technologies Corp.

United Technologies Corp., in collaboration with the Rhodium Group, analyzed the impact of a 30 percent improvement in U.S. building energy efficiency by 2030 in a new report, Unlocking American Efficiency: The Economic and Commercial Power of Investing in Energy Efficient Buildings.

According to the findings, improving energy efficiency in buildings by 30 percent would create a $275 billion market for advanced technology, engineering and design services, and construction activity in the U.S. alone — that's larger than the total U.S. advertising market.

The energy savings would generate $34 billion per year for American businesses, net of investment expenses, that could either be passed on to consumers or used to hire more employees or invest in R&D or expanded production. Households would save an additional $23 billion per year that they could use to save for the future, invest in education, or spend on consumer goods or personal services.

Federal, state and local governments in budget-constrained times would save more than $8 billion annually, equivalent to funding the National Science Foundation or nearly all of the annual budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the residential sector, the report determined that achieving a 30 percent efficiency improvement in existing residential buildings would require investing $115 billion in energy efficient technology and design. This investment would more than pay for itself in energy cost savings, additionally generating an estimated improvement in average household cash flow of $163 a year, equal to the average annual household spend on fresh vegetables.

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