The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published the World Energy Outlook 2012. Most of the media attention in the U.S. focused on the the IEA's prediction that the U.S. will become the world's largest oil producing country and the largest natural gas producing country within the next several years. Largely ignored by the U.S. media were the IEA's conclusions about the unrealized potential for improved energy efficiency. Quoting from the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012 Fact Sheet:
Energy efficiency can improve energy security, spur economic growth and mitigate pollution, but current and planned efforts fall well short of tapping its full economic potential.
A number of major energy‐consuming countries (China, United States, the European Union and Japan) have adopted new energy efficiency measures over the last year. Progress towards their implementation is projected to contribute to a reduction in global energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) ... Nonetheless, a significant share of the economic potential of energy efficiency – four‐fifths in the buildings sector and more than half in industry – remains untapped, mostly due to non‐technical barriers.
Cimetrics has been working with its customers to realize the energy efficiency potential of their facilities since 2000, and we are not alone. However, the IEA report reminds us that all of us in the buildings sector must do a better job of educating policymakers, building owners, real estate developers, investors, and the general public about the potential for our buildings to use significantly less energy using proven methods that are economical today. But education is only the first step; we must actively support the development of government policies, standards, and business practices that will lead to energy efficiency gains in existing and new buildings.
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