Revamping existing buildings to make them energy efficient

http://m.phys.org/news/2014-03-revamping-energy-efficient.html

” The EU-funded BRICKER project aims to develop ways of reducing energy consumption by 50% in existing buildings, within the next four years.”

That is pretty aggressive.  Most buildings in NYC who enroll in the NYSERDA MPP program struggle to meet 20% savings with an sir of 1.0

  “Passive technologies include new aerating windows, with an integrated, newly patented electronic heat exchanger, new PIR (PolyIsocyanurate)-based insulation foams with embedded phase-change materials (PCM’s)— which are substances capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy—and state of the art ventilated facades, commercial windows and insulation panels.”

What is the payback on these technologies?  Are they readily available in the US?

Can the US implement a similar program?

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Natural Gas Loses to Solar on Costs, A First

“[T]hese proposals offer competitively-priced energy generation; at firm prices; the fewest new environmental impacts; and significant protections against the imposition of project cancellation costs….[I]t bears mentioning that this procurement represents an important turning point in Minnesota’s energy resource planning process. Since 1991, Minnesota has had a statutory preference in favor of renewable energy sources. Yet, that preference is overridden when the nonrenewable source has a lower total cost. Notwithstanding the statutory preference, it seemed that nonrenewable energy sources always won the head-to-head cost comparisons. Not anymore. Geronimo entered this bidding process as the sole renewable technology and beat competing offerors on total life-cycle costs.”– http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4556162