IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

6.6.3 Improved productivity

There is increasing evidence that well-designed, energy efficient buildings often have the co-benefits of improving occupant productivity and health (Leaman and Bordass, 1999; Fisk, 2000; Fisk, 2002). Assessing these productivity gains is difficult (CIBSE (The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers), 1999) but in a study of 16 buildings in the UK, occupants estimated that their productivity was influenced by the environment by between –10% and +11% (Leaman and Bordass, 1999).

The implementation of new technologies for GHG emissions mitigation achieves substantial learning and economies of scale, resulting in cost reductions. Jacob and Madlener (2004) analyzed the technological progress and marginal cost developments for energy efficiency measures related to the building envelope using data for the time period 1975 to 2001 in Switzerland. The analysis yields technical progress factors of around 3% per annum for wall insulation and 3.3% per annum for double glazing windows, while real prices decreases of 0.6% since 1985 for facades and 25% over the last 30 years for double glazing windows (Jacob and Madlener, 2004).

6.6.4 Employment creation and new business opportunities

Most studies agree that energy-efficiency investments will have positive effects on employment, directly by creating new business opportunities and indirectly through the economic multiplier effects of spending the money saved on energy costs in other ways (Laitner et al., 1998; Jochem and Madlener, 2003). Providing energy-efficiency services has proven to be a lucrative business opportunity. Experts estimate a market opportunity of € 5–10 billion in energy service markets in Europe (Butson, 1998). The data on energy service company (ESCO) industry revenues in Section demonstrates that the energy services business appears to be both a very promising and a quickly growing business sector worldwide. The European Commission (2005) estimates that a 20% reduction in EU energy consumption by 2020 can potentially create (directly or indirectly) as many as one million new jobs in Europe, especially in the area of semi-skilled labour in the buildings trades (Jeeninga et al., 1999; European Commission, 2003).