Building Labeling Systems and Policies: A Comparative Study of Building Labeling in US and China

TitleBuilding Labeling Systems and Policies: A Comparative Study of Building Labeling in US and China
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsThe Natural Re Council
Date Published06/2012
InstitutionThe Natural Resources Defense Council

Both the US and China have enormous potentials to reduce energy use and pollution through energy efficiency improvements in new and existing buildings. Despite the fact that these investments in energy efficiency are cost-effective, they are not being undertaken due to a variety of persistent barriers, discussed below. Information about building energy efficiency and energy usage and costs is a key ingredient to the proper valuation of energy efficiency in the marketplace and enables the implementation and enforcement of policies to promote energy efficiency in buildings.

While the US and China face somewhat different challenges in addressing the efficiency of their building stocks, there are also many similarities and potential to learn from each other. Both countries have made significant progress on the development of labeling and rating systems for buildings, but there is still much progress to be made. In 2009, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development, and the Institute for Market Transformation published the first comparative report on China and US labeling and rating systems.

This paper builds upon and updates this work. It will give an overview of existing rating systems in the US and China; describe what information they rely on, how they are determined, and how they are being used today, including an overview of existing policy mechanisms. It will identify how ratings and labels can be used to help achieve goals for increasing both efficiency and sustainability of buildings in US and China, identify what the gaps and barriers are for the use of labels in each country, what each country can learn from the other to patch these gaps, and identify opportunities to work together to solve mutual challenges.


CERC-BEE Task 8-1

This paper is a draft which only addresses US systems and policies.