Impact of climate change on U.S. building energy demand: Financial implications for consumers and energy suppliers

Jianhua Huang, Kevin Robert Gurney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Based on the impacts of climate change on U.S. building energy consumption, we quantify the financial implications to consumers and suppliers at finer space (state) and time (monthly) scales than previously reported. For the U.S. as a whole, we find building energy costs decrease by ∼7 billion $/year in the residential sector, while costs increase by ∼2.2 billion $/year in the commercial sector. For cold-weather states (e.g., Vermont), there are residential energy savings of up to 340 $/year, while warmer states (e.g., Florida) see increased residential energy costs of up to 231 $/year per household. The increased summertime cooling demand poses important questions for the electricity supply system. Electricity reserve margins fall below 10% in all North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) regions by the end of this century. In order to maintain a reliable electricity supply, an additional 80.6 gigawatt (GW) of capacity is needed, which we estimate to cost between 19.2 and 72.1 billion $/year for construction and operation. These estimates are also sensitive to changes in population distribution. Compared to a 2010 population distribution, results based on a 2090 population distribution show reduced savings nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change impacts
  • Cost/benefit analysis
  • Energy demands and supply
  • Energy impacts
  • Financial implication
  • Sustainable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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