Comparative Analysis of U.S. and China Building Energy Rating and Labeling Systems


Rating the energy performance of buildings is an emerging policy tool in both the United States and China. Although rating policies and practices between the two countries differ in terms of approach, structure, administration, and support the goal of encouraging greater energy efficiency and fewer greenhouse gas emissions in high-rise buildings sectors is shared.

This paper provides the first comparative analysis between building energy rating policies in the United States and China. The United States has several rating and labeling systems either deployed to the market or under development, while China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development is piloting a more comprehensive building rating and labeling program. This paper dissects the policies and programs in each country and explores opportunities for alignment related to rating methodology, policy structure, program administration, and workforce development. It concludes that many challenges and opportunities in building an energy rating system are similar in the United States and China, and that both countries stand to benefit from greater collaboration and sharing of best practices related to establishing energy rating systems.