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Saving at the Office? The Commercial Building as Economic Drain



    THE OFFICE -- NBC Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Angela Kinsey as Angela, Kate Flannery as Meredith, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Phyllis Smith as Phyllis, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesley -- NBC Photo: Paul Drinkwater FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY / DO NOT ARCHIVE

    Could the next target for energy savings be California's commercial buildings?

    A new study by Collaborative Economics for Next 10 (the California-focused non-partisan organization previously noticed here for its California Budget Challenge) suggests that commercial buildings in the state consume more energy than necessary -- and thus are a signfiicant drain on California's economy.

    Among the study's more intriguing findings:

    - Only 60 percent of new commercial buildings meet state standards for energy efficiency.

    - Energy efficient buildings are more valuable, with the study finding a 6-7 percent premium on rents paid to occupy such buildings.

    - Commercial buildings, through various improvements in energy efficiency, could cut their electricity usage by 80 percent through a variety of measures. Commercial buildings account for 37 percent of the state's electricity consumption.