This paper will study the effect that green building policies have on changes in electricity consumption across all 50 states beginning in 1990. The study analyzes each state’s green building policies for the residential, commercial, and industrial building sectors. The objective of the paper is to determine whether green building legislation has a significant impact on electricity consumption at the state level. Each state has different policies and some have enacted policies long before others.
The paper creates a system to gauge the stringency of each state’s policies over the twenty-five year period and will rank them accordingly to test for significance of different policies. The empirical model also includes control variables of income per capita, price of electricity, and population. The results of this research give an explanation of how well green building policies work in the United States. The longer each state has had a green building policy for any of the three building sectors, the more likely it is to have decreased utility usage rates over the period studied. The results of this study suggest whether or not green building legislation has had a meaningful impact on any or all of the building sectors in the United States. This study also suggests a potential moral hazard problem attributed with green building legislation. This effect would make the expected change and actual change in utility usage significantly different.