Commercial energy efficiency retrofits could save $41.1B

July 28, 2010
According to a new report if all commercial space built as of 2010 were included in a 10-year energy retrofit program, the savings would have the potential to reach more than $41.1 billion.

BOULDER, COLO. — According to a new report from Pike Research, if all commercial space built as of 2010 were included in a 10-year energy retrofit program, the savings in energy expenses would have the potential to reach more than $41.1 billion each year. Commercial building space in the U.S. covers a total of 79 billion square feet, and buildings are one of the leading sources of energy consumption and carbon emissions. With more than 80% of commercial buildings being more than 10 years old, they also represent a significant opportunity for energy savings if today’s best practices are applied for efficiency retrofits. The market intelligence firm estimates that such programs would require an annual retrofit investment of $22.5 billion over the 10-year period.

Despite these promising numbers, however, Pike Research’s analysis finds that the actual market for energy efficiency retrofits is only a small fraction of the potential.

“The building retrofit industry faces a number of key challenges,” said managing director Clint Wheelock. “The current financial crisis has had a significant dampening effect on property owners’ investments in their properties. Financing for such projects is scarce, and the limited investment in building efficiency is not keeping pace with the growing national demand for energy.”

Wheelock added that the best-funded opportunities for retrofits today are major upgrades in institutional buildings, especially in federal buildings. This market, already strong because of federal policy mandates and creditworthiness, received a boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. However, federal non-industrial buildings comprise less than 3% of existing commercial space, and the largest untapped potential is for energy retrofits in private commercial buildings. Pike Research anticipates that several key market barriers will be successfully overcome during the next few years, and the firm expects that the private retrofit sector will experience strong growth through 2014 and beyond.

Pike Research’s study, “Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings,” analyzes the market opportunity for building retrofits in the U.S. It provides a detailed examination of the market drivers, barriers, and industry dynamics in today’s market, along with several scenarios for future growth. The report includes an in-depth assessment of policy and regulatory factors, financing structures, demand drivers by segment, retrofit business cases, key industry players, and market forecasts. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. Additional information is available at

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