The Green Deal in the UK can teach us some important lessons. First, we need the primary driver for energy efficiency to be market based. There very well may be a time when we need to regulate and compel folks to make EE changes on existing buildings, but we should only do that after we have an established track record on our ability to deliver on our promise (can we really deliver savings as promised to each household?).
We (as folks who believe that EE is a win win and should be adopted broadly) need to make sure that we do not get ahead of our political capital. I remember right here in the Bay Area, in Berkeley, when there was a proposal to discuss a 20% requiring EE improvement at time of sale, and there were so many people demonstrating that you could not even get into the hearing. And that was Berkeley for gosh sakes!
The premise of "cost effectiveness" must also be addressed. In today's construct, the building owner is taking on all the risk. We say that these project save more than they cost, but we know that the reality is different. Even if we are right on average, 50% of people will not in fact see the savings they are promised, and we know that we have a wide variance.
If we want to bring this main stream we need to be able to pool risk, and provide building owners with guaranteed savings. This is totally possible, though it may require some regulatory changes. But look at solar as an example. They are now offering consumers guerenteed production with no maintenance risk... cold beer and warm showers. And it is working with consumers.
More to come...