Building energy use accounts for over one-third of global energy consumption and is growing at a rapid pace. If unchecked, global building energy use could increase by 50% from 2012 to 2050.

Some of this growth in energy and electricity use is due to population and economic growth, particularly in rapidly emerging economies such as China and India. However, energy use (particularly electricity use) is growing even in economies with limited population and economic growth.

The growing importance of electricity as an energy source for buildings is a common trend associated with large increases in the use of electrical equipment and devices, as well as more extensive electric network connectivity.

The good news is that globally, wide use of best-available technologies and efficiency policies could add up to a massive 29% reduction in projected building energy consumption in 2050. This is equivalent to the combined energy use of buildings in China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States in 2012. This energy saving potential would deliver lower electricity and fuel costs for businesses and households and reductions in emission and other pollutants that pose health threats.

Find out how countries could collaborate to deliver energy savings in buildings in two new reports:

  • Building Energy Performance Metrics is a joint report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) and investigates building final energy performance trends from 2000 to 2012.
  • Delivering Energy Savings in Buildings – 3 provides an overview of the IPEEC Building Energy Efficiency Taskgroup (BEET) project on opportunities for international collaboration on building energy codes amongst the major economies represented in the MEF and G20 (known as the BEET 3 project).