In the Toolkit --


  • Guide to the Toolkit
  • Leagues in Action
  • I. Choosing a Role for Your League

    II. Grassroots Action Priorities

  • Climate Action
  • Price on Carbon
  • Our Children's Trust
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • III. Basics of Climate Change

    IV. Engaging Individuals

  • Communicating About Climate Change
  • Preparing for a Meeting on Climate Change
  • Engaging Groups in Your Community
  • V. Promoting Public Policy

  • Community Action Models
  • Organizing For Community Action
  • Tips for Building Grassroots Support
  • League Action on Climate Change
  • International Action
  • VI. Resources


    According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, "any successful climate protection strategy must consider residential and commercial buildings, which are responsible for almost 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions."

    Building emissions include both direct emissions (primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels for space and water heating and for cooking) and indirect emissions (from electricity generation attributable to the residential and commercial sectors, including electricity for lighting, cooling, and appliances). Electricity consumption accounts for roughly three-fourths of total residential and commercial CO2 emissions.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that, in 2020, fossil fuels were the source of about 61 percent of the 4.01 trillion kWh of electricity generated at utility-scale power facilities. Another 20 percent was from nuclear energy and about 20 percent was from renewable energy sources. An additional 42 billion kWh of electricity generation was from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems.

    Significant reductions in these emissions can be achieved, however, by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The technologies needed to improve building efficiency are readily available and cost-effective. Improving building efficiency can help curb U.S. emissions immediately as we work longer term to expand the country's renewable energy resources and put the country on a path to a sustainable future.

    Explore the following sections to learn more about ways to promote improved energy efficiency in buildings --

    Last updated: 2/3/2022