Mayor Wu said today she wants Boston to join a state pilot that would let the city ban the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels for heating and cooking in new construction or major renovation projects.
Wu today called for creation of an advisory committee that would draft a new city ordinance that would require all-electric buildings - using such advanced energy-saving technology as heat pumps - that would then be sent to the City Council and the state Legislature for their required approval:
To develop local, fossil fuel-free standards that promote economic opportunity for workers and residents, Boston will convene an Advisory Committee made up of stakeholders with expertise in environmental justice, affordable housing, labor and workers’ rights, building engineering and energy, healthcare and public health, real estate development and management, architecture and urban design, and distributed energy systems. The Advisory Committee will anchor a months-long community process to establish definitions, criteria for applicability, and the timeline to prioritize the complementary goals of decarbonization, housing affordability, equity and a just transition for workers. After consulting with the Advisory Committee, Mayor Wu will then file a local fossil fuel-free building ordinance with the Boston City Council.
Wu said up to 30% of the greenhouse emissions in the city now come from oil and gas-fired heating and cooking systems, and that reducing those is critical for ensuring Boston does its part to deal with the climate crisis.
Wu praised state legislation, recently signed by Gov. Baker, to allow for such measures. "Boston’s participation will help deliver healthy, energy efficient spaces that save our residents and businesses on utilities costs and create local green jobs that will fuel our economy for decades," she said.