Across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, cities and states are establishing rigorous carbon reduction goals to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Commercial and industrial (C&I) emissions account for 35 percent of total United States emissions. The C&I sector represents the country’s largest buildings, many of which employ hard-to-electrify manufacturing processes. Strategic energy management (SEM) is one pathway to begin to tackle these emissions issues. Strategic energy management embeds energy efficiency in companies by changing company culture to reduce energy consumption, and thus GHG emissions. SEM uses data-driven learning and behavioral science to teach companies how to create and perpetuate a culture that supports energy management and energy reduction.
Globally, SEM has proven to be an effective tool to reduce emissions from these large facilities however the United States is behind the rest of the globe. This is likely due to a lack of awareness of the program, Informational and economic barriers inhibit companies from implementing SEM or participating in SEM programs. This brief outlines six strategies that could be used to accelerate the adoption of SEM programs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Many of these strategies have been employed in other parts of the world and could be used here.