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NRDC: A New Tool for Measuring Decarbonization Focuses on RESNET CO2 Index

Mar 11, 2022


A recent blog, A New Tool for Measuring Decarbonization, penned by (Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Energy Co-Director, Climate and Clean Energy Program, and RESNET Board of Directors member David Goldstein discusses building decarbonization as a way to address climate change. He also highlights how RESNET has recently released an ANSI standard on how to calculate the carbon impacts of an individual house or building to address the issue.

Goldstein writes climate change is mostly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, and in the U.S. some 35 percent of these emissions result from burning fossil fuels to power, heat, and cool buildings. Decarbonization of our buildings is critical if we hope to meet the climate goal of reducing U.S. emissions by well over half by 2030

He notes that the standard, called the RESNET “CO2 Rating Index, “is among the first in the world, if not the very first, to estimate emissions accurately by accounting for the hour of the day and month of the year at which electricity is consumed, and using the incremental effect that the building has on usable renewable energy and on fossil fuel emissions, calculated over the long term (so that the additional solar or wind that is built in response to the building is counted).

Goldstein adds that the existing work of RESNET with its HERS® Index already looks at patterns of energy use by the hour of the year. “So, it is a straightforward task to translate the energy profile into an emissions profile if you have the data that underlie these figures. That is why the new RESNET CO2 Rating Index is so exciting. It allows us—right now—to calculate the comparative emissions of two houses. For example, we can look at the emissions from a new house with, or without, efficiency and solar to see how much electrification and clean energy can help. Or we can compare a house as-is with how it would look with a deep decarbonization retrofit.”

Read the complete article at https://www.nrdc.org/experts/david-b-goldstein/new-tool-measuring-decarbonization