Offices, homes and other buildings use a lot of power due to energy-sucking appliances and outdated or unenforced building codes. Meanwhile, energy efficiency, the cleanest and cheapest resource, remains underutilized.
Making our buildings and appliances more efficient offers a huge opportunity to slow climate change by using less dirty energy. The federal government is required by law to set energy efficiency standards for residential, commercial and industrial appliances and equipment and also to establish labeling rules that help consumers make energy efficient choices. But it has historically shirked these responsibilities.
Buildings use huge amounts of energy and release about 36 percent of the carbon dioxide associated with energy use. By some estimates, new buildings could be designed to use 70 percent less energy than they use today, and upgrades to existing residential buildings could achieve energy efficiency improvements ranging from 15 to 35 percent using available technologies.
Earthjustice is promoting energy efficiency standards by:
- Obtaining new federal standards requiring highly efficient appliances and equipment. We are using administrative advocacy, negotiations with manufacturers, and litigation when necessary to achieve common-sense efficiency gains. This effort also involves defense of stringent efficiency standards from industry challenges.
- Leading legislative advocacy efforts to improve the effectiveness of energy efficiency labeling requirements, both in-store and online, so consumers have the information they need about a product before they buy.
- Focusing on federal and state building codes to ensure that adoption of new building methods improves efficiency and creates opportunities for green building more broadly.