China is one of the largest developing countries and has a large, rapidly growing commercial building stock. Commercial-building energy demand is growing rapidly. China has made significant efforts to moderate growth in commercial-building energy consumption, including implementation of building energy-efficiency standards. However, it is challenging to regulate the energy performance of existing commercial buildings. Through the energy-efficiency policies promulgated during the 12th Five-Year-Plan, China aims to retrofit least 60 million square meters of commercial building space by the end of 2015. As part of this effort, the government selected four cities – Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai – to implement pilot commercial-building energy-efficiency retrofit programs.
This paper systematically compares retrofit program information collected through site surveys and other investigations in the four pilot cities, including information on program organization and progress, retrofit program structure and implementation procedures, the design of supporting policies, technical solutions, and costs and benefits. Based on the results of our study, we recommend next steps for improving the energy performance of existing commercial buildings in China.