On September 21, 2023, the Biden administration outlined plans to expand federal agencies’ consideration of the social cost of carbon—a metric for the economic cost of each additional ton of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. This announcement tilts the balance of cost-benefit analyses in favor of activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it could have widespread effects for entities that receive federal funding or are subject to federal regulation.… More
Category Archives: Energy Efficiency
On June 26, 2023, the Cambridge City Council voted to amend the city’s Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO) to require large non-residential buildings to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and mid-size non-residential buildings to do so by 2050. The BEUDO amendment sets one of the most ambitious municipal net zero building targets in the country and establishes a new benchmark for climate-focused cities—yet questions remain as to whether these goals can actually be achieved.… More
On November 4, 2022, the White House announced a new initiative to support research and development projects on 37 “game-changing” technologies to advance the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Led by an interagency working group, the “Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative” will direct billions of dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act toward five initial priorities:
- Efficient Building Heating and Cooling,…
Massachusetts will soon see significant updates to the energy codes that govern the construction and alteration of buildings throughout the Commonwealth. As required by the 2021 climate bill,
the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has recently finalized regulations updating the current Stretch Energy Code, previously promulgated by the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS), and establishing a new Specialized Code geared toward achieving net-zero building energy performance.… More
Lost amid the more high profile items in Massachusetts’ recently enacted Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind is a requirement that the Department of Energy Resources establish a program requiring large buildings across the Commonwealth to report energy usage on an annual basis. The requirement goes into effect on July 1, 2024, but DOER has an additional year (until July 1, 2025) to draft implementing regulations and establish the parameters of the reporting program. … More
Those wondering what states can do to at least partially ameliorate the impacts of West Virginia v. EPA need look no farther than Massachusetts, which issued its Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 the same day that the Supreme Court extended its crusade against the modern world by limiting EPA’s authority to regulate in the absence of a clear delegation by Congress.
The Boston Air Pollution Control Commission has formally adopted its “Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance Phase 1 Regulations.” The Phase 1 regulations are really all about the “disclosure” side of BERDO. The “reduction” side will be addressed by the Phase 2 regulations, which at this point are scheduled to be completed by the winter of 2023.
The final Phase 1 regulations largely track the draft released late last year. … More
On January 12 and 13, Foley Hoag attorneys will lead a series of discussions about the significance of New York Climate Action Council’s recently-released draft Scoping Plan to the state’s continuing clean energy transformation. Richard Kauffman, Chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will provide keynote remarks. The draft Scoping Plan, which we discussed in a recent blog post, describes the market-based solutions and government actions that will be needed to achieve the ambitious climate goals set forth in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.… More
The first phase of the regulations is focused only on reporting issues. It will address
- Reporting Requirements
- Third-Party Data Verification Requirements
- Preservation of Records
The rationale for this narrow focus is that the City wants these regulations in place promptly,… More
New York Climate Action Council Approves Draft Scoping Plan to Achieve the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions
On December 20, 2021, the Climate Action Council (“Council”) approved the release for public comment of its draft Scoping Plan, which describes how New York can achieve the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA” or “Climate Act”): 70% renewable electricity consumption by 2030, 100% zero-emission electricity consumption by 2040, a 40% reduction in statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, an 85% reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2050,… More
Last week, the Department of Energy released a proposed rule that would be the death knell for the incandescent light bulb. The proposed rule would implement the so-called “backstop” provisions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and impose an efficiency standard for general service lamps of 45 lumens per watt. In short, incandescent bulbs operate at efficiencies well below 45 lm/W and thus could not meet the new standard.… More
Last week, the Boston City Council approved amendments to the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance. The changes are being referred to as “BERDO 2.0”, which almost understates the scope of the revisions. As indicated by its name, since its original enactment, BERDO only dealt with reporting and disclosure. Now, however, Boston will be imposing limits on GHG emissions from large buildings.
The limits will first be effective in 2025,… More
New York Utility Company Seeks Proposals to Electrify Buildings Instead of Building More Gas Pipelines
On July 12, 2021, in a landmark utility effort to electrify New York City’s building stock, Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for non-pipeline solutions (NPS). NPSs avoid the need for investment in pipelines and traditional distribution system infrastructure by meeting on-system natural gas demand with alternative solutions like energy efficiency and heat pumps. Con Ed’s RFP seeks customer-sited load relief solutions that enable the abandonment of leak-prone pipes through full building electrification while maintaining system reliability.… More