Published: June 30, 2022

As a popular emission reduction tool, the carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) can potentially add an economic incentive for building owners to retrofit buildings in addition to the cost savings in energy. As a part of a comprehensive research project funded by US National Science Foundation, the Science Foundation Ireland, and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, our team has investigated the additional economic benefits of building retrofits from carbon credits via the ETS. We found that carbon prices have significant economic impacts on building retrofits. With the relatively low forecasted time-variant carbon prices (around 10 USD per ton), the economic impacts of ETS on building retrofits are small. When carbon prices increase, the impacts of ETS would be up to 25% for 50 USD per ton (current prices in European Union) and 51% for 100 USD per ton.

This work has been published under the title “The economic impacts of carbon emission trading scheme on building retrofits:  A case study with U.S. medium office buildings" in the journal Building and Environment. The full paper is available here.

The first author of this paper, Yingli Lou, is a Ph.D. student in the SBS lab, where her research focuses on large-scale building energy simulation and carbon emissions from buildings.

Congratulations to Yingli on publishing this paper!