This journal article brings together 50 “new-governance” instruments to understand better new governance for low-carbon buildings and what may be expected from it. The authors find that new-governance instruments fall short in exactly the same areas as do traditional instruments. They argue for a change in the application of new-governance instruments along three paths to improve their performance. The first is to rethink their purpose. The second path is to rethink these instruments’ position in building regulatory frameworks at local, national and international levels. And, the third path is to think more carefully about the interaction between new-governance instruments and existing policy mixes.