Episode 124: What can happen when businesses implement new technologies to increase energy efficiency?

Karen Clay, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon explains how our commercial buildings can affect energy consumption.



Learn more

Commercial Building Electricity Consumption Dynamics: The Role of Structure Quality, Human Capital, and Contract Incentives by Matthew E. KahnNils KokJohn M. Quigley, National Bureau of Economic Research.

Average size of new commercial buildings in United States continues to grow from the Energy Information Administration

Annual Energy Outlook, “Market Trends: Electricity Demand from the Energy Information Administration


HOST: What can happen when businesses implement new technologies to increase their energy efficiency? On this week’s Energy Bite, Karen Clay, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University explains.

CLAY: Most electricity is consumed in commercial buildings, and the average size of these buildings has increased over time. From 2003 to 2012, the number of these buildings has increased 14% and floor space 21%, and electricity consumption is expected to increase 27% by 2040. Therefore, managing the energy used in these buildings is an important part of the nation’s energy management strategy.

HOST: What factors influence energy management in commercial buildings?

CLAY: A study conducted by National Bureau of Economic Research found that although new energy technologies can reduce the electricity used for heating, cooling, and ventilation of these buildings, these savings are offset by the responses of the tenants of the building and large scale purchases of appliances. As a result, new buildings, unlike homes, have higher consumption than older buildings.

HOST: Do your energy efficiency habits change depending on whether or not you pay directly for that energy? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

ANNOUNCER: Energy Bite is a co-production between 90.5 WESA and Carnegie Mellon’s’ Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.


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