Energy Leaders Address Solutions for Decarbonizing Mass Market Buildings


March 28, 2022

Washington, D.C.: In a forum recently convened by OurEnergyPolicy (OEP) and moderated by The Clean Fight New York, energy leaders identified a four-pronged carbon reduction approach for the critical, sizable real estate segment of class B/C buildings:

    1. Act with urgency
    2. Force market demand
    3. Prepare and enable the workforce
    4. Make adoption enormously easy

The roundtable discussions among policy, business and technology experts examined the challenges of decarbonizing class B/C buildings and how to identify effective solutions. Class B/C buildings, also known as non-luxury residential and commercial buildings, are typically older properties, often in underserved communities and generally in need of updates or renovations.  Experts honed in on seven “leading” challenges regarding class B/C building decarbonization:

    • Market fragmentation
    • The difficulty of structural market transformation
    • Split incentives
    • Workforce education and training
    • Demand-side interest
    • Lack of harmonization between thermal energy, thermal efficiency, policy, and pricing
    • Cost of capital

These properties have proven to be very difficult to decarbonize due to incentive, information and resource constraints. This poses a particular challenge since they generate the majority of the real estate sector’s carbon emissions.

“Many of the solutions we need to decarbonize America’s legacy buildings already exist. The challenge is how to make it as easy as possible for the market to adopt those solutions, and that all communities share in the benefits. This white paper shines a light on bold, practical pathways toward achieving these essential goals,” said Kate Frucher, Managing Director of The Clean Fight NY.

The whitepaper summarizing the leaders’ views will be distributed to government officials and others involved in the policymaking process, in concert with OEP’s goal of providing resources to enhance American energy policies. It provides details on how best to implement the approach recommended by the forum participants.

“The discussion among these experts addresses a crucial, but often overlooked area — the huge stock of older and/or smaller buildings that make up the largest share of the real estate decarbonization challenge,” noted Bill Squadron, President of OurEnergyPolicy. “Their insights lay out a compelling roadmap for achieving meaningful progress on this very difficult segment of the emissions challenge.”

Read more in the paper, Decarbonizing Mass Market Buildings.


About OurEnergyPolicy: OurEnergyPolicy is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing and facilitating substantive, responsible dialogue on energy policy issues and providing this discourse as a resource for the public, policymakers, and the media. OurEnergyPolicy also serves as a one-stop resource hub for all things energy policy and includes the OurEnergyLibrary—an online resource library aggregating thousands of U.S. energy policy-relevant publications from across the sector.