How Buildings Will Save the World: Using Building Energy Regulation and Energy Use Disclosure Requirements to Target Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Rob Taboada

Volume 66, Issue 2, 519-56

There is a legal, ethical, and pragmatic case for regulation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. An essential part of that scheme is the regulation of energy use in the building sector, which accounts for a third of American green house gas emissions. Some regulation in this area is already in place. But largely local efforts have resulted in inconsistent rules that vary in effectiveness and compromise not only the staggering potential for emission reduction, but also the commercial opportunity and prospective consumer cost savings available. This Note examines the current strategy of state building energy codes along with the feasibility of universal adoption. It also looks at the potential of a new market-based approach of mandated building energy use disclosures that could represent an attractive accompanying or alternate solution to the current codes.

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