Montclair Climate Action


Homes and commercial buildings are responsible for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. That’s more than the entire agricultural sector, and only includes day-to-day, operational emissions! Overlapping with other sectors, the complete carbon footprint of residential and commercial buildings reaches to almost 40% of the US total. Clearly, to prevent climate catastrophe, we need to rethink our buildings. Luckily, we know exactly where to start. These emissions come from two main sources: 


Cement is used in most modern buildings, and is itself responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions. Steel plants burn fossil fuels, and lumber production promotes deforestation. Furthermore, materials must be transported to the building site by truck, train, and/or ship. These unsustainable modes are the largest source of emissions in the US.

Energy Use

Once construction is complete and a building is occupied, its emissions don't stop. Buildings are energy-intensive, requiring lighting, heating, and cooling. The largest emissions come from fossil fuels burned for heat. Nevertheless, even electrified systems have associated emissions, as most of our electricity still comes from fossil fuels.

While our tools and appliances have become more energy efficient in recent decades, the same isn’t true for our buildings. We’ve made advances, but unsustainable buildings are constructed every day, which has led to a lot of wasted energy. Additionally, most buildings, especially here in New Jersey, are much older than the modern appliances we use and haven’t been updated to today’s best practices.

Still, there are many positive signs for the future of energy efficient construction and renovation. Certification programs like LEED and Energy Star help both developers and homeowners maximize sustainability, and many cities around the country are mandating sustainable construction. However, the best incentives program is plain economics. The less energy you use, the lower your energy bill! Click below to find our how you can lower your energy costs by taking part in a PSE&G energy audit.