In partnership with PLMA, this group is for practitioners from energy utilities, solution providers, and trade allies to share load management expertise and explore innovative approaches to program delivery, pricing constructs, and technology adoption.

Post

Seattle ordinance shifts new buildings' energy load to electricity

DW Keefer's picture
Journalist, Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

  • Member since 2017
  • 277 items added with 272,441 views
  • Feb 2, 2021
  • 1081 views

Seattle has joined a growing list of West Coast cities whose city council has passed an ordinance discouraging new fossil fuel use in large buildings.

The ordinance approved by the Seattle City Council bans natural gas for space and water heating in new commercial and apartment buildings taller than three stories.

Developers will be required instead to select more efficient, electric technologies rather than gas-powered versions. The ordinance also bans natural gas for space heating in replacement heating systems in older buildings.

The code has the potential to prevent an increase in building-sector climate pollution by 2050 while reducing utility bills. Without the code, Seattle city officials said that building emissions would have been 12% higher by that date. The 2013 Climate Action Plan has set a goal of achieving a 58% reduction in emissions by 2030 and being net-zero carbon by 2050.

A report released by the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment in December indicated that the city’s core GHG emissions rose 1.1% between 2016 and 2018. Meanwhile,  emissions from the building sector rose by 8.1%.

In a statement released in December when she proposed the changes to the energy code Major Jenny Durkan said that factors contributing to the increase in building emissions are new buildings with fossil gas space and water heating, colder winters, warmer summers, and a growing population and workforce.

The California Energy Commission, meanwhile, is reworking the state's building codes for energy-efficient homes. The effort expands the state's mandates requiring solar panels on all new homes starting in 2020. The CEC now plans to tighten rules on natural gas for home heating and hot water, a code update that would take effect in 2023.

Discussions

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

DW Keefer's picture
Thank DW for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »