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Time-of-Sale Energy Labeling of Homes: A Concept

July/August 2010
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 01, 2010
In 2003, the European Commission passed the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)—perhaps the first mandatory implementation of time-of-sale energy labeling of buildings. To date, the United States has not followed suit. However, recent local and state initiatives have sought to implement similar policies, and now the U.S. government is beginning to explore the possibility of doing so. The technical subject matter is complex, and numerous public policy and market challenges have yet to be resolved in the United States, in the European Union, and internationally. Philip Fairey is the deputy director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and president of the RESNET board of directors. (Image credit: FSEC) One fact is salient in the debate: Buildings consume more than 40% of primary energy resources and are responsible for more than 38% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Thus buildings represent the largest single sector of primary energy use and greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. Numerous studies indicate that increased building energy efficiency offers the single largest opportunity for cost-effective reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. It is precisely for this reason that public policymakers worldwide are actively considering mandatory building energy labeling as a marketplace tool ...

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