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Rocky Mountain Institute and Signify Uncover How Buildings Can Pave the Way for the Global Electric Vehicle Revolution in a New Report

RMI and Signify show how increasing the global energy retrofit rate in buildings can accommodate baseline adoption of electric vehicles through 2040 without dramatically increasing generation capacity and while meeting global climate targets.

Tallinn, Estonia – September 6, 2018 RMI and Signify have joined forces to investigate how electric vehicle (EV) adoption will influence global electricity demand, how building energy efficiency can be used to balance this load growth and how policy can support the transition of these two critical sectors.

With the onset of the global EV revolution, RMI and Signify believe that the increased deployment of energy efficiency retrofits in buildings will be the most cost-effective and impactful way to avoid costly new generation infrastructure and mitigate stress on the electric grid. A new report, Energy Efficiency and Electric Vehicles: How Buildings Can Pave the Way for the Global EV Revolution, details key policy approaches to capture the reinforcing benefits of building efficiency and EVs.

The most cost-effective path to electrified mobility is through smart and efficient buildings. An investment in accelerating building efficiency is not only necessary to support our climate needs, but also lowers the cost of electrifying our mobility system, said Jamie Mandel, Managing Director for RMI’s Buildings program.

The analysis finds that:

  • By increasing the global energy retrofit rate in buildings from 1 to 5 percent per year, we can accommodate baseline adoption of EVs through 2040 without dramatically increasing generation capacity and while successfully meeting the 2 degrees Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement.
  • Addressing buildings and EVs in tandem can open up additional economic and societal opportunities including local economic development, load-balancing capabilities and improvements in building stock quality, productivity and public health.
  • Capturing these benefits will require a step change in policy approaches that primarily target building renovation as a trigger to integrate energy efficiency, smart EV charging technologies and demand flexibility to minimize costs and support a high-penetration renewable energy future.

“The Energy Efficiency and Electric Vehicles report not only shows the importance of integrated policy action in both areas, but it also shows the tremendous benefits of enhancing climate action. We can accomplish three things at once: make our buildings much more efficient and pleasant to work in, free up the energy that can be allocated to accelerating the electrification of transport, and make both sectors smart and IoT-enabled through digital technologies. It is time to enhance action, and this report provides the insights, scenarios and inspiration to drive the action that is needed to keep global warming within the limits as set out by the Paris Agreement,” said Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs at Signify.

When successfully deployed, RMI and Signify hope that the policy recommendations found in this report will encourage the deployment of energy efficiency and the smart management of EV energy use to drive new investment in building performance for the benefit of owners, occupants, the grid and the environment.


For media inquiries please contact:

Nick Steel, RMI Senior Associate – Media Relations, T: +1 303-567-000,

Elco van Groningen, Signify Corporate Communications, T +31 6 1086 5519, E:

About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst

About Signify
Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Its Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2017 sales of EUR 7.0 billion, it has approximately 30,000 employees is are present in over 70 countries. It unlocks the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter and LinkedIn. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

More information on Signify can be found at