Climate Change Stressors on Energy Performance: Predicting Future Energy Needs in A Warming World

Jennifer Wyatt

Sustainability Specialist
U.S. General Services Administration

As each year ends we find that we have experienced the warmest or near warmest surface temperatures ever recorded. Unchecked adaptation may increase greenhouse gas emissions by increased fossil-based air conditioning in response to higher temperatures. This response would offset greenhouse gas reduction goals, increase energy use and increase costs. The use of a predictive measure is needed to monitor energy use, set annual goals, and plan adaptation actions. Climate Change Adaptation Plans take many factors into account to create regional and site specific recommendations. Extreme weather events such as storm surge, sea level rise, and storm intensity dominate these recommendations. While extreme events are crucial for adaptation plans, the possibility of increased energy use is an essential factor to include. Through this discussion, I will elaborate on the need to include long-term weather predictions, the application of such data, and the use of Climate Change Adaptation Plans for assessing building needs and setting energy use goals.