Energy disclosure policies address market failure for efficiency upgrades
- September 18, 2012
Investment in the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses saves money and helps the environment. But because energy-use information is rarely available, the market for energy efficiency doesn’t work and few people are making smart investments.
Recently, however, disclosure policies that encourage or require the provision of energy-use information to renters, buyers, owners and operators of buildings have begun to break down barriers to investment in efficiency measures, according to a review released today by Policy Matters Ohio.
“When information is made available to consumers, they are more likely to choose energy-efficient properties,” said Amanda Woodrum, Policy Matters researcher and report author. “Policies that have been put in place in cities, counties and states around the U.S. have begun to motivate sellers and landlords to upgrade existing properties, help tenants save money, and focus communities on reducing energy consumption.”
The new report reviews the barriers to adoption of energy-efficiency measures, lays out basic elements of existing energy disclosure policies, and describes how communities have put good policies in place. It’s one piece of Policy Matters Ohio’s “Sustainable Communities Toolkit,” which serves as a resource to reporters, community stakeholders, policy makers, and others interested in a high-road approach to development that protects the environment, boosts the economy and promotes equity.