Boston Clean Energy Coalition

“Historically, super-tall buildings have focused on structural challenges . . .
The rules have changed,
and energy has become the defining problem for our generation.”

—Scott Duncan of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The challenges, solutions, and opportunity exist for Boston to pivot now from its fossil-fueled past and lead the transition to clean energy; this means moving our building designs into the 21st century through a relentless focus on efficiency and cost-effective switches from gas and other fossil fuels to clean, electricity-based heating/cooling. The Boston Clean Energy Coalition (BCEC) brings together member organizations and allies in the shared commitment to accelerate this shift away from natural-gas–driven energy in Boston’s buildings and toward construction fueled by renewables. Meeting this goal requires collaboration among all of Boston’s sectors: developers, elected officials, labor, investors, utilities, neighborhoods, faith-based groups, academia, environmentalists, and others. By providing an organizing space that fosters this process and promotes this collaboration, BCEC looks to spur innovative and transformational public policy that unwaveringly focuses on a green and clean future.

Boston Opts In to the State’s Specialized Building Code

On April 5, 2023, the Boston City Council voted 8–4 (Councilor Breadon was absent) to adopt the state’s Specialized Code, pursuant to the filing of an ordinance by Mayor Wu. The Mayor signed the ordinance the following week. Previously, six other communities (Brookline, Cambridge, Lexington, Lincoln, Newton, and Watertown) had voted unanimously or near-unanimously to adopt the code, and approximately 24 more towns and cities are expected to pass the Specialized Code in the coming months. As of Boston’s vote, 16% of the state’s population has opted in. The Specialized Code encourages all-electric new construction by requiring new buildings and major renovations to be all-electric ready. It also advances energy efficiency.

New Director of Planning Announced

On February 8, 2023, Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison announced the hiring of Aimee Chambers as the new Director of Planning.

Crane Ledge Woods Update

On Feb. 3, 2023, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) issued an Adequacy Determination that disapproves the 990 American Legion development proposal as currently designed. As a conditional disapproval, the developer now has the option of significantly modifying their proposal to address the issues spelled out in the disapproval.

Boston’s CCE 100% Renewable Electricity Now Costs Less than Eversource Basic

To save on your electricity bill, join Boston Community Choice Energy (BCCE), where all three tier rates are lower than Eversource’s Basic rate, guaranteed through December 2023. This includes if you opt up to 100% renewable electricity! Sign up for BCCE now and/or opt up for 100% renewables; it takes only seconds on the City’s website here.

USGBC-MA study: “Zero Energy Buildings in MA: Saving Money from the Start”

Whenever we talk to neighborhood associations or developers or others about building proposals and advocate for all-electric net-zero-carbon construction, everyone’s first question is always, “How much extra will it cost?” This important and highly anticipated report just released from the Massachusetts chapter of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) finds that zero energy buildings are a great investment and are less expensive than stakeholders have previously assumed.

WGBH story: One out of every 5 new buildings in Boston is energy inefficient

Here is why we need all new buildings in Boston to work toward being net-zero carbon, and we need to do it now since we are in the midst of the third largest building boom Boston has ever witnessed.

Click to listen:
WGBH story: One out of every 5 new buildings in Boston is energy inefficient