The Empire State Building, constructed in 1931, has recently undergone a comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit. It now uses 38 percent less energy than it did a few years ago. The owners invested $20 million in improvements, and the building now saves $4.4 million per year in utility costs. That’s a 4.6-year payback, equal to a return on investment of 22 percent. That far out-competes almost anything in the stock market, and it’s far less risky.

What can we learn from this?

1. Existing buildings can be retrofitted into high-performance buildings.

2. There are significant opportunities for reducing energy use in this country for roughly 25 percent the cost of building new power plants.

3. We can reduce climate emissions considerably in this country at a profit. Energy efficiency is probably the best investment that can be made.

4. It is foolish for anyone to even consider investing in coal, particularly given the health care and climate change costs it imposes on society.

A national energy policy that has energy efficiency as its foundation does more to create jobs, reduce dependency on foreign energy, improve our environment, and preserve our nation’s financial resources than any other approach. If that makes sense to you, please let your government representative know.

Ed Gulick,


(3) comments


Great if you have the initial investment to pay for the changes. What it doesn't addres is what is the return on your investment? How long will it take to recoop that 20 million cost, or shouldn't that matter or have any consideration in this conversation?


Another kool-aid drinker revealing his ignorance by pushing climate change alarmism. The notion of human-caused global warming is based on falsified data and lies, and has no basis in truth. Of course energy efficiency is still a worthy goal.


I love it, Roger. You have no expertise or understanding of what you're talking about, but you still go on and on. But at least you accepted the merit of cost savings through efficiency.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.