This is a good top level summary of efforts around the world to do deep energy retrofits. These deep retrofits are one way to approach the fundamental issue of lock-in. Lock-in is where you make a small improvement that is cost optimal now, i.e. upgrading single glazed windows to double glazed windows, while the long term optimum is to upgrade to low-e argon filled double glazing. Once you’ve upgraded the windows once it is not cost effective to do so again. You’ve locked-in your performance. All of these examples show how short term thinking and accounting is a root cause of our issues.
“It’s not possible for the world to just “fuel switch our way out of global climate disruption” according to one construction industry observer. We have to invest significantly in making buildings energy efficient at a rate much greater than we do now. But as anyone in this game knows, the financial returns on investing in eco-retrofitting buildings are hard to capture. That isn’t stopping people from trying, with Great Britain, the USA, and Canada taking very different routes. Which is working best?”
Content by The Fifth Estate.