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"Cost-effective strategies can reduce carbon footprint."

"HVAC consumes 56% of total electric usage in hotels and motels and accounts for 10.8 kWh/square foot."

Florida Power & Light Company

"Energy Efficiency technologies currently have $700 billion invested, in 20 years that number could reach $7 trillion."

ACEEE

"Energy Efficiency has met 75% of the demand for new energy."

ACEEE

"EPA study said data centers account for 1.5% of all electricity consumption in US, and 2% worldwide."

EPA

"U.S. hotels spend - on average - $889 annually per available room for electricity which accounts for 58% of total utility costs."

GE Lighting

"Existing technologies and strategies could reduce typical server energy use by an estimated 25 percent and entire data center consumption by 40 percent."

EPA

"81% of senior decision makers at large U.S. corporations surveyed said that carbon credits are now part of their green IT strategy - compared to only 18 percent in 2008."

Campos Research & Analysis

"Marriott International says that more than 85 of its hotels will earn the Energy Star label signifying 35 percent less energy use than average buildings."

"The voluntary carbon markets transacted an estimated 123 million tonnes of carbon credits valued at US$705 million in 2008, up from 65 million tonnes of credits valued at $331 million in 2007."

"In 2007, the voluntary carbon market or over the counter market was dominated by Energy Efficiency projects, accounting for 18% of the total volume."

APX

"73% of senior decision makers at large U.S. corporations surveyed identified "energy efficiency" as the key aspect of a green data center."

"Most analysts believe that by 2020 the global marketplace for carbon will have a value of 2 trillion euros, with the United States trading two-thirds of that."

Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009

"Connecticut ratepayers contributed approximately $105 million in total for energy efficiency, or $30 per household between for the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and the Class III EEPS."

"80% of CEOs view sustainability as affecting brand value, 82% expect climate regulation within the next five years, and 31% stated that it is important to the corporation to reduce their environmental impacts."

McKinsey

"Neuwing Energy Ventures purchases Green-e certified REC's for some of the world's leading companies such as DuPont and Lowe's which are both listed on the national top 50 as noted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

"The hospitality industry spends $3.7 billion a year on energy. Electricity use accounts for 60-70% of the utility costs of a typical hotel. Energy-efficient lighting can reduce electricity use up to 75%."

California Hotel & Lodging Association

News Archives

October 14, 2010

USGBC, LEED Targeted by Class-Action Suit

By Tristan Roberts, Environmental Building News

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court. Filed on behalf of mechanical systems designer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving, the lawsuit was stamped on October 8, 2010 at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Among other allegations, the suit argues that USGBC is fraudulently misleading consumers and fraudulently misrepresenting energy performance of buildings certified under its LEED rating systems, and that LEED is harming the environment by leading consumers away from using proven energy-saving strategies.

The suit alleges that USGBC’s claim that it verifies efficient design and construction is “false and intended to mislead the consumer and monopolize the market for energy-efficient building design.” To support this allegation Gifford relies heavily on his critique of a 2008 study from New Buildings Institute (NBI) and USGBC that is, to date, the most comprehensive look at the actual energy performance of buildings certified under LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC). While the NBI study makes the case that LEED buildings are, on average, 25%–30% more efficient than the national average, Gifford published his own analysis in 2008 concluding that LEED buildings are, on average, 29% less efficient. A subsequent analysis of the NBI data by National Research Council Canada supported NBI’s findings, if not its methods. (Commentary questioning the respective statistical approaches of both the original study and Gifford’s analysis appears in this BuildingGreen.com blog post by Nadav Malin, president of EBN’s publisher BuildingGreen.)

 Using that study and USGBC’s promotion of it, the suit alleges fraud under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, among other statutes. Gifford’s suit demands that USGBC cease deceptive practices and pay $100 million in compensation to victims, in addition to legal fees. Under the Lanham Act, the suit repeats the same concerns in alleging deceptive marketing and unfair competition. Other allegations include deceptive business practices and false advertising under New York State law, as well as wire fraud and unjust enrichment.

 By having his lawyer, Norah Hart of Treuhaft and Zakarin, file a class-action lawsuit, Gifford is not only claiming that he has been harmed by USGBC, but that he is one of a class of plaintiffs that have been harmed. According to the suit, those plaintiffs include owners who paid for LEED certification on false premises, professionals like Gifford whose livelihoods have allegedly been harmed by LEED, and taxpayers whose money has subsidized LEED buildings. 


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