Energy efficiency has become a central part of corporate and government strategies to reduce carbon emissions and manage assets in a more strategic manner. The global market for energy-efficient buildings is thus supported by country- and region-wide legislation and initiatives. Governments worldwide are introducing policies aimed at promoting energy efficiency through incentives, prescriptive measures, building codes, and other means. Coupled with rising energy prices, these policies are driving governments and organizations to adopt new technologies to monitor and control energy use in buildings.
Energy self-efficient buildings combine energy efficiency and energy in-place generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources over a specified time period. Achieving zero energy is an ambitious yet increasingly achievable goal that is gaining momentum across geographic regions and markets. Private commercial property owners have a growing interest in developing zero-energy buildings to meet their corporate goals, and in response to regulatory mandates, federal government agencies and many state and local governments are beginning to move toward zero-energy building targets. The NIBS Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings report will be available in the summer of 2015.