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Mandatory Building Energy Audits Alone

are Insufficient to Meet Climate Goals

+ Constantine Kontokosta, Sokratis Papadopoulos, Danielle Spiegel-Feld

Messages for policy

Cities should consider a comprehensive strategy to support energy efficiency in the building sector that starts with a foundation of data transparency and evidence-based decision-making.

Energy disclosure mandates are an important first step: once data are available, buildings can be evaluated on their energy performance and compared to their peers.

Audit requirements should be used to target ‘deep’ retrofits, while automated or virtual audits could replace the existing need for traditional audit mandates.

Since audit policies generate substantial data on building systems and operating characteristics, mandatory audit requirements could be replaced.


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Constantine E. Kontokosta, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning and Director of the Civic Analytics program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management. He also directs the Urban Intelligence Lab and holds cross-appointments at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and is affiliated faculty at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

Sokratis Papadopoulos is a PhD candidate in the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, as well as a research affiliate of the Civic Analytics Program at the Marron Institute.

Danielle is the Executive Director at the Guarini Center where her research focuses on urban environmental law and sustainable energy policy. She is also an adjunct professor.

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