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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparative study of commercial building energy-efficiency retrofit policies in four pilot cities in China


The energy efficiency of existing commercial buildings is more challenging to regulate and improve than the energy efficiency of new constructions. In 2011 and 2012, the Chinese Government selected four cities- Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Chongqing- to implement pilot commercial building energy efficiency retrofit program. Based on site surveys and expert interviews in these pilot cities, this research conducted a comparative analysis on incentive policies of local city level. The analysis results show that policy designs of existing commercial buildings should be further improved. The aspects that influence the implementation effect in the future, such as subsidy level, installments, and business model promotion, should be specified in the policy clauses. Referring to the technical solution and cost-benefit in Chongqing, we found that lighting system is the most common retrofit objects while envelope system is the least common one. And the subsidy incentive is greatest for educational buildings, followed by office buildings. In the end, we further discussed the problems and obstacles in commercial building retrofit market, and provided a series of recommendations.

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