The California Building Industry Association has just released a couple of interesting studies on how the state can eliminate the most greenhouse gases: by retrofitting existing homes.
Builders contend that their new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built as recently as 1990. Indeed, they say that homes built after 2006 create 25 percent fewer greenhouse gases than those built in 1990.
Their point:don't tighten the screws on us to meet California's global warming goals under AB32. You'll get far more bang for your buck by making millions of existing homeowners retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient.
If you recall, that bill requires that by 2020 California will be producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than it did in 1990. Builders say they're already there.
I've scanned the studies done by Stockton-based energy consultant ConSol, but not taken a definitive look yet.
You can find the whole package at this CBIA link. It has the news release, a county-by-county breakdown of its number of homes built in each decade and the two reports.
Bottom line: it would cost about $10,000 to retrofit an existing house and utilities might fund a lot of it to save their own energy production costs.