The Cost of Over-Cooling Commercial Buildings in the US

Along with many people that we know, we are frequently freezing in our offices in the summer, and we wanted to estimate the cost of over-cooling all commercial buildings in the United States; commercial buildings include office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals and so on and so forth. After a year’s worth of work, using data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) for 2012, we came up with the daunting cost figures of 103,929 GWh, 57,125 kt CO2e, which represent $10B. These figures are staggering. The maps below (click for full size) show the distribution by state and unsurprisingly, states in the south tend to do worse, simply because they require a lot more cooling. For more details about the methodology, see the article. We have even published the entire dataset that we generated and it is available with the article on the Energy and Buildings website.

Map Over-Cooling Commercial Buildings in the United States. Data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) – CBECS database.