ECPA Energy Efficiency Initiative in Municipal Buildings Implemented in Brazil, Chile and Trinidad and Tobago

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Buildings consume an average of 37 per cent of the world’s energy. Ameliorating their performance and operation helps build a cleaner environment through energy savings and improves comfort and productivity for dwellers, visitors, workers and other users. This is precisely what this ECPA initiative seeks to accomplish. The municipalities selected for the project share specific commonalities: large populations, high-energy consumption and a demonstrated willingness to curb greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency improvements. The project will provide replicable examples for other Latin American cities to follow.

Oil depletion projections, surging global power demand, fluctuating oil prices, and the need to manage greenhouse gases combine to produce global and local anxieties related to energy and climate change. With this context in mind, Florida International University (FIU), Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh), Universidade Federal de Goias (UFG), and Energy Dynamics Limited (EDL) in Trinidad and Tobago teamed up to conduct energy efficiency policy analysis and baseline assessments of energy municipal buildings. Based on this work, the four partners will develop recommendations for improved energy efficiency standards and codes. Additionally, recommendations in the form of energy efficiency action plans will be issued so that partner governments and stakeholders may deploy the actions required to successfully implement the new building standards and codes. Finally, project results will be monitored and evaluated to ascertain the level of success of the project and provide a benchmark for future interventions.

Accomplishments to date include the completion of local energy efficiency policy analyses and baseline assessments. These activities have enabled the study of energy efficiency standards and codes in the three countries, which are vital in identifying the optimal building rating system to adopt in each municipal context. The gathering of this information involved fact-finding meetings and focus groups with key municipal personnel, local builders, developers, lenders, utility providers, related government agencies and the general public. The ECPA Clearinghouse looks forward to monitoring and informing stakeholders of FIU’s work as it progresses.