For the past year, the Cambridge, MA city government has had a Getting to Net Zero Task Force studying the implications of a net zero energy building requirement. They finished the draft report on March 16, 2015 and will have an open forum to introduce the study to the public on Wednesday, April 8.
The Task Force defined net zero as “an annual balance of zero greenhouse gas emissions from building operations citywide, achieved through improved energy efficiency and carbon-free energy production,” applying it to the net zero target at the community level (citywide).
Net zero new construction (at the building level as opposed to citywide) is defined as “developments that achieve net zero emissions from their operations, through energy efficient design, onsite renewable energy, renewable energy infrastructure such as district energy, and, if appropriate, the limited purchase of RECs [Renewable Energy Credits] and GHG [Greenhouse Gas] offsets.”
The objectives for the proposed actions from 2015 to 2035 and beyond include
(a) …target of Net Zero Emissions for new construction: New buildings should achieve net zero beginning in 2020, starting with municipal buildings and phasing in the requirement for other building types between 2022-2030.
(b) targeted improvements to existing buildings: The Building Energy Use and Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO) will provide the information necessary to target energy retrofit activity, including, over the long term, the regulation of energy efficiency retrofits at time of renovation and/or sale of property.
(c) proliferation of renewable energy: Increase renewable energy generation, beginning with requiring solar-ready new construction and support for community solar projects, evolving to a minimum requirement for onsite renewable energy generation.
(d) coordinated communications and engagement: Support from residents and key stakeholders is imperative to the success of the initiative.
The Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge
Wednesday, April 8
Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Join us for a public forum on The Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge featuring the Net Zero Task Force and a presentation of their 25-year action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from building operations citywide! The purpose of this forum is for Task Force members to present their recommendations to the public followed by a question and comment session. This is an opportunity for the City to solicit public input and support on the Task Force’s recommendations as well as receive feedback on issues of concern. To check out the draft net zero action plan click on the link below.
Net Zero Task Force webpage at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Climate/netzerotaskforce.aspx
Questions? Contact Ellen Kokinda firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4618