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By Meghan Prisuta • October 16, 2019

Pittsburgh Mayor Requires All New and Existing City Buildings to be Net-Zero Energy Efficient

Pittsburgh joins a growing list of cities taking actionable measures towards cutting carbon emissions. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed an ordinance for net-zero government buildings, an extremely important step towards reaching the city’s climate goals and reducing operating costs. The goal to construct or renovate buildings as “net-zero ready” could begin in 2020 according to legislation introduced by City Council on Tuesday.

“Pittsburgh is taking real steps to meet its energy goals and moving to net-zero construction will be one of the most meaningful and impactful actions we’ve ever taken. It is not only the right move for the planet, but for the city’s budget too,” Mr. Peduto said.

BACKGROUND & TIMELINE

  • OCTOBER 2016: Pittsburgh City Council approves tracking the energy use of 154 municipal buildings using a tool provided by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • ALL 2017: Energy use of municipal buildings is tracked through 2017
  • MAY 2018: Pittsburgh City Council approves the city’s Climate Action Plan 3.0, which aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from a 2003 baseline by: 20% by 2023, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2050.
  • SEPT 2019: A benchmarking report based off of the 2017 energy usage tracking is released. It finds that municipal buildings currently account for 80% of the city of Pittsburgh’s overall energy usage. Utility bills for that year accounted for $2.7 million of the city’s budget.
  • OCT 2019: Pittsburgh City Council votes unanimously to pass an ordinance requiring all new or renovated City government buildings to be net-zero energy ready.

WHAT IS “NET-ZERO READY”?

Net-zero energy buildings are buildings that produce as much or more energy than they use within a year. The first step in becoming a net-zero energy building is to design an extremely energy efficient building, whether it be during construction or through retrofit upgrades.  By designing or retrofitting a building to require minimum energy consumption it makes it “ready” for cost-effective, on-site renewable energy alternatives. The buildings will then be ready to achieve net-zero energy through the future addition of enough onsite or local renewable energy to offset its consumption over the course of a year.

Net-Zero Energy retrofits are becoming increasingly important towards reaching local and global carbon emissions goals, as well as, organizational budgets. EffectivEnergy Solutions has the experience, technical means and financial methods to design Net-Zero Energy Projects.  If you have a potential project you would like to discuss with us, please schedule a project consultation through the link below. 

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