Spotlight on Los Angeles: Increasing Energy Efficiency in BuildingsThe Energy Collective, March 13, 2014
Recently the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Ziman Center for Real Estate hosted the UCLA Green Building Symposium – Building Better Places. The symposium addressed the critical issue of increasing the efficiency of buildings, focusing on the importance of adopting sustainable technology in residential and commercial properties and retrofitting the existing stock of large commercial buildings to increase energy efficiency across the real estate market. A panel of Los Angeles-based sustainability leaders at the forefront of green buildings provided valuable insight on both the benefits of energy efficiency and strategies to overcome the perceived barriers to increasing energy efficiency in buildings.
According to the EPA, 30% of energy use in large buildings is actually wasted. Commercial buildings spend an annual average of $107.9 billion on energy costs, and there is ample room for meaningful savings. In addition to saving on water and power costs, energy efficiency can increase productivity and happiness for those who use the buildings, and result in cleaner air inside and lower carbon emissions. We also know that eighty percent of buildings in 2030 will be buildings that already exist today. In order to achieve significant energy and carbon pollution reductions in our cities, we need to continue beating the drum on efficiency and scale up efforts in buildings that exist today.