Recently in a unanimous 7-0 vote, the Bellingham City Council has passed Ordinance 17.10.0.010. Which requires new commercial and multi-family buildings above 4 stories in Bellingham to have the capacity to heat themselves and water through electric energy. The city is banning the use of natural gas for these purposes. Adopting building codes that prioritize building electrification efficiency and solar readiness for new buildings in Bellingham. When looking at Bellingham’s greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 66% of these emissions come from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. This high level of emissions explains the City Council’s hopes to promote energy efficiency. To decarbonize commercial and large multi-family buildings.
This isn’t Bellingham’s first green effort. Bellingham committed to combating climate change by introducing plans and procedures to mitigate Bellingham’s pollution. In 2007, the city introduced the plan called the “Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Protection Action Plan”. The idea and intent of “How can state and local leadership make a meaningful difference, at the scale of the climate challenge?” It goes on to detail several ways to cut back greenhouse gas emissions within the city of Bellingham. Also containing the goal for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050.
What’s the reason?
The intent of banning natural gas use for the heating of space and water in new commercial and multi-family buildings is to decrease Bellingham’s greenhouse gases and convert the city to greener sources of energy. While utilizing electric energy is typically cleaner than relying on natural gas, it varies on the energy source used. The energy sources used for electric energy aren’t always renewable, meaning that the difference between electric and gas emissions can be minimal. Instructions for new roofing standards are within the bill for those who are unable to purchase solar panels immediately. As the funds become available all equipment is in place to have the renewable energy source immediately implemented into the buildings.
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