Policy activity in the buildings sector accelerated in the 1990s in Europe, after 2000 in the U.S., and more recently in China. Despite efficiency improvements in heating, cooling, and lighting, growth in building floor space and increasing appliance and electronics use have mostly offset efficiency gains.


These graphs show the changes in Buildings policy in China, the EU, and the US


United States Building energy efficiency spending by government

Efficiency spending by federal and local governments increased over the last decade, with a spike due to the 2009 stimulus.


    European Union EU policy towards referigerating appliances

    The increasing strictness of labeling standards for refrigerators, introduced in 1995 and updated regularly, demonstrated how EU efficiency standards ratcheted up over the last several years. The efficiency of the worst permissible label now exceeds the top category from 1995.


      China Estimated impact of policies targeting energy use reduction

      Increased enforcement of energy building codes saved an estimated 60 million tonnes of coal equivalent per year, more than all other targeted policies combined.