The US economy is slowly emerging from recession, yet the construction and commercial real estate sectors are still struggling to find their footing. New construction has come to a near standstill due to limited available capital and difficulties in accessing attractive financing. Many of the leaders of the real estate community are attempting to respond to this challenge by focusing on the improvement of existing buildings, particularly in energy efficiency.
Despite this attention, overcoming the market barriers that have historically impeded investment in energy efficiency retrofits is still a difficult business proposition for most, but within the realm of possibility. As a result of innovation on many fronts, the commercial sector is at a potential tipping point for major efficiency investments. Incentives tailored specifically to encourage retrofits are needed to unlock this potential.