Making our buildings more energy efficient

Energy consumed in buildings accounts for almost half of C40 cities’ carbon emissions on average, and around two thirds of this comes from private buildings. Buildings can last over 100 years, which means that increasing a building’s energy efficiency is critical to meeting global climate goals. Improving building energy efficiency can bring many other additional benefits such as reduced energy bills, healthier workplaces, new jobs and greater energy security.

Cities participating in the network have prioritized four focus areas around which they are actively sharing policies, strategies, ideas and challenges with one another.

Two Caucasian men installing solar panels on roof
© Blend Images – Don Mason / Getty Images
Focus areas:
  • Data for policy-making
    Collecting and using building energy data to drive ambitious policy development.
    Understanding how to use data for detailed modelling to plan ambitious policies.
    Encouraging stakeholders to collect and disclose data.
  • Residential buildings
    Encouraging multi-family and single-family home retrofits by exploring financing schemes for action and raising awareness. 
    Designing engaging campaigns to encourage citizen action.
  • Deep retrofit
    Understanding the policies and programmes needed for achieving zero carbon building retrofits.
  • Commercial buildings
    Encouraging commercial building owners, tenants and landlords to take action to develop building tune-up programs.
    Fostering retro-commissioning in commercial buildings.
The network is complemented by two technical assistance programmes:
  • Private building retrofit and data policy programme – helping cities to collect, analyse and report building energy data to accelerate the retrofit of private buildings.
  • Residential retrofit programme – working with cities on programmes to retrofit residential building fabric, heating and lighting systems and engage building occupants.

This work is part of the C40 Buildings & Energy 2020 Programme, generously supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and ClimateWorks Foundation.