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Building Energy Use Drops More Quickly Than Expected
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 26, 2012 at 5:44 PM.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Early Release Overview of its Annual Energy Outlook 2012  on January 23, projecting that residential and commercial building energy use is expected to decline more rapidly in the next couple of decades than originally thought. EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) projections since 2005 illustrate that estimates for energy consumption to 2030 have dropped by nearly 70% due to considerable movement within the building sector to improve building design and efficiency.


The final Annual Energy Outlook 2012 will be issued later this spring.

Saving Costs

The 2011 AEO forecasts that American consumers will spend $3.66 trillion less on energy between 2012 and 2030 than was originally projected in 2005. If, by 2030, we embrace efficient building technologies, these savings will top $6 trillion.

More Buildings, Less Energy

In 2005, the AEO forecasted an increase in total U.S. building floor area of 51.9% from 2005 to 2030, with energy consumption and CO2 emissions increasing by 44.4% and 53.1% respectively. While the AEO 2011 projects a slightly lower building floor area increase of 38.6% over this same time period, the projected energy consumption and related carbon emissions from the building sector are dramatically less than projected in 2005.


A movement that is making strides to reduce building energy consumption in the building sector is the 2030 Challenge. Developed by Architecture 2030, a non-profit organization dedicated to slowing and reversing the growth rate of greenhouse related emissions in the building sector, the program encourages the global architecture and building community to adopt various building energy reduction targets to achieve industry-wide zero net energy use by 2030.


To learn more about the 2030 Challenge, visit

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