Newsletter 11 - New Report Quantifies the Global Return on Investment of Ambitious Building Energy Performance Policies

Dear Reader,

We are all hoping 2015 is a year that culminates at the Paris COP21 with a new global agreement to tackle climate change and limit global warming to 2 degrees C. We need to do all we can to support negotiators and build confidence in the effectiveness of ambitious policy actions to achieve deep cut in energy consumption in buildings, and fulfill the GHG mitigation potential.
To that end, the latest GBPN report “Monetary Benefits of Ambitious Building Energy Policies” released today, provides key evidence of the economic benefits of immediate investments in deep actions to improve building energy performance. 
The study shows that shallow energy efficiency improvements in buildings does not pay-off in the long run; delivering a negative return on investment in nearly all regions of the world. Implementing deep energy savings measures on the other hand does pay-off, potentially delivering a 124% return on investment by 2050. If negotiators and policy makers agree in December on ambitious long-term targets, then deep policy actions in the building sector could deliver total cumulated energy cost-savings of almost $100 trillion USD by 2050. 
If you consider the monetary benefits together with the potential employment, health, resiliency and environmental benefits of policies to improve building energy performance, then there is a compelling case for confidence and ambition shaping the COP21 outcomes over the next 11 months. Leading up to COP21 a coordinated communications strategy using the collective capabilities of our organizations is essential and GBPN will play a role in key activities ‘on the road to Paris’ in the coming months. 
Best wishes, 

Peter Graham



Category iconNEWS

[New report] Monetary Benefits of Ambitious Building Energy Policies

30.01.2015 | Global 

Mainstreaming high-performance buildings could deliver a 124% return on investment globally through building-related energy cost savings by 2050 says a new comprehensive assessment study of the costs and benefits of low energy building pathways published by the GBPN. The new report “Monetary Benefits of Ambitious Building Energy Policies” commissioned by the GBPN to the Central European University’s Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP) and Advanced Building and Urban Design (ABUD), offers a first attempt to quantify the global and regional cost implications of ambitious scenarios for implementing large-scale energy efficiency improvements in buildings. 

Key Findings:

  1. Shallow energy efficiency improvements do not pay off in the long run. The  'Deep Efficiency Scenario' for buildings is the oly possible path to achieve return on investment by 2050.
  2. Most major regions of the world reach cost-effectiveness between 2030-2040. Policy makers therefore need to take a long term view about the monetary costs and benefits of building efficiency policies.
  3. Energy prices and capacity building are key enablers of the deep efficiency scenario.
  4. More data and more research are needed to fill gaps in the availability of cost data, particularly on deep renovation and integrated new building design. 
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Category iconNetwork update


30.01.2015 | Global PROGRAMME

The GBPN Global program will be shifting to a more distributed network structure during the next few months. With our network and project partners we will continue to develop and share relevant resources, and continue to contribute to essential projects in building energy policy.  This change will help to better support our global knowledge platform and tools, provide more scalability to funding opportunities, and better direct our expertise to supporting international partners and policy implementation programs. This change will also lead to the closure of the Paris office and increased engagement through our expert network, the partnership of BPIE and IMT, UNEP and our program collaborators. With the GBPN Network engaged we will continue to conduct projects and provide new resources and policy tools to this year. These will include the UNEP Common Carbon Metric 2.0 MRV tool for NAMA programs and a resource portal for the IPEEC/Major Economies Forum Building Energy Efficiency Task Group (BEET 3 Program). We are looking forward to continuing to play our part in supporting climate action and pursue our mission in this critical year of COP21.



30.01.2015 | U.S. Programme

The GBPN network is gearing up for 2015 – here’s a quick tour of activities on the agenda from our U.S. Partner the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT;

IMT will continue to advance the mission of GBPN by leveraging and augmenting work under new and existing projects.  These activities and deliverables fall into two work streams:  

1. Improving compliance with existing energy codes, which includes a study of barriers to energy code enforcement in Alabama, webinars on code compliance, and the fourth annual Standard Bearers Award for code officials. 

2. Supporting the continuing adoption and implementation of building performance policies such as benchmarking. Key activities include maintaining and improving the functionality of; working to improved utility support for data access to whole building energy consumption data by building owners and cities; and providing direct front-line consulting support to assist the 10 U.S. cities participating in the City Energy project in successfully developing and implementing energy efficiency policies and programs.

For more details, please contact Jayson Antonoff:



30.01.2015 | E.U. PROGRAMME

In 2015, Europe is taking strategic decisions about its future energy policy guidelines. The concept of a European Energy Union, Europe’s Energy Security Strategy and the EU’s position for COP21 in Paris are each providing opportunities to position energy efficiency as the first fuel for Europe and a central pillar of Europe’s energy future. The transformation of the building sector will be essential which is increasingly recognised by policy makers. BPIE is providing analysis and arguments to support ambitious agreements in this respect. Key projects include:

- Further review of EU legislation on buildings as a contribution to the next round of policy making

- BPIE recently won a major contract from the European Commission to develop and create an online European Buildings Observatory which will go live in 2016. This will greatly improve building performance data transparency

- BPIE is strengthening its policy implementation support activities in more EU member states, with the start of a big scenario project in Germany and other European capitals

- Solutions and suggestions to increase investment in energy renovations will be promoted through the publication of a European Commission report to which BPIE heavily contributed. On the implementation side, BPIE is involved in a project to develop investment protocols reducing the risk of efficiency investments in collaboration with the Environment Defense Fund.


Category iconResources & tools 

Energy Use Scenarios for the Building Sector up to 2050


The Tool for Building Energy Performance Scenarios launched by the GBPN last June gives access to data and projections and allows to find out where we could be in terms of energy use by 2050 under three different scenarios (deep, moderate and frozen), depending on the ambitiousness of policy decisions and technology choices. It enables anyone interested in energy efficiency in buildings to: 
1) Find out whether policy settings in the regions of the world are reducing or increasing climate change impacts;
2) Visualise and quantify the potential lock-in of energy demand from buildings over time;
3) Identify policy measures that could shift markets to energy savings pathways and quantify the energy savings potentials.

The Tool is the visualisation of the results of two seminal GBPN reports on the energy savings potential of the building sector globally:
- Best Practice Policies for Low Carbon & Energy Buildings Based on Scenario Analysis, Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP), Central European University, commissioned by GBPN, 2012
- Buildings For Our Future, The Deep Path for Closing the Emissions Gap in the Building Sector, GBPN-KPMG, 2013.

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