In June 2016, NEEP released the Roadmap to Zero Energy Public Buildings: Progress Report. This new resource takes a look back at the three years since the original roadmap was published and assesses how the region has advanced in terms of zero energy buildings and policies. To do so, the report analyzes how each state (and DC) within the NEEP region progressed towards the completion of the "Critical Next Steps", as outlined in the original report. In summary, regional and national awareness of zero energy definitions, standards, policies, initiatives, and construction has grown and matured. The updated roadmap also contains new guidance related to zero energy policies, regulations and other initiatices that support the construction of zero energy buildings in the region.
Buildings represent perhaps the greatest potential reservoir of energy savings available to us as a society, accounting for some 40 percent of our annual energy use. In recent years, a number of dedicated and resourceful practitioners have shown that constructing buildings that use no more energy than they are able to produce on-site – “net zero energy buildings” – is not only possible, but a practical and tangible example of our collective commitment to a clean energy future.
Yet zero net energy buildings remain, in large part, more of an aspiration than a reality.
Recognizing the leadership potential of the public sector, Northeast Energy Efficiency
Partnerships (NEEP) believes the road to a full-scale deployment of zero net energy buildings starts with the facilities our states and communities construct. This report was developed in collaboration with a group of regional building energy stakeholders and outlines key steps the public sector can take to facilitate the eventual broad adoption of zero net energy building practices throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The focus of this report is on new construction in the public sector because it provides the greatest opportunity for immediate action with the added benefit of substantial long term energy and cost savings.
Included in this report are “intermediate-term steps” that NEEP recommends be taken in the next 10-15 years to make zero net energy public buildings a widespread practice across the region. These are followed by a series of “critical next steps” that we suggest must be taken now to pave the way to a future where all new buildings consume only as much energy as they produce.