I want to decarbonize my property. What does that mean?

Decarbonizing buildings is essential for reducing global carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. In addition, decarbonizing can also offer a range of local benefits which can positively impact property owners, building occupants, and surrounding communities through improved air quality, energy cost savings, enhanced property values, human health benefits, climate resilience, community empowerment, and job creation.

Building decarbonization involves reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the energy consumption required to operate a building. Operating emissions can be direct or indirect, encompassing any electricity or fossil fuel used for heating, cooling, lighting, and other energy needs within a building.

The main strategies of effective decarbonization include:

  1. Switching all fossil fuel-sourced mechanical systems and appliances to high efficiency equipment powered by electricity. This could include any gas, propane, or oil-fired boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, laundry, and cooking appliances.
  2. Reducing energy consumption by improving building energy efficiency with targeted insulation and air sealing to meet or exceed current energy codes. Energy management systems and smart-building control technologies can also optimize energy use to reduce emissions.
  3. Incorporating on-site renewable energy sources and storage when appropriate.

As electrical grid infrastructure within states and local communities integrates cleaner energy sources and buildings transition to efficient all-electric systems, full decarbonization is becoming increasingly attainable. An all-electric building also provides direct health benefits by removing all on-site combustion of fossil fuels, reducing air pollution, and increasing the indoor air quality. Additionally, all-electric systems eliminate any vulnerability to fluctuations in fossil fuel prices, providing more stability in projected utility costs.