Clean Heat Lexington

Clean Air, Cool Planet: It's Electrifying!

Why do building emissions matter?

Heating, hot water, and cooking from onsite combustion of fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, and propane) in buildings is the biggest source of Greenhouse Gas emissions in Lexington.

Electrifying our homes and commercial buildings is essential in reaching our Net Zero emission goals by 2035.

Lexington's path to building electrification

Successful town policies and legislation reducing onsite fossil fuel combustion (accomplished)

Community Choice (Electricity from Renewable Resources) (effective 2015) provides residents and businesses with electricity generated from renewable resources through electricity aggregation.

Integrated Building Design and Construction Policy (effective 2019) requires new town buildings to be "[a]ll electric, zero emissions onsite design (excluding fuel for emergency backup power generators). Backup fossil fuel heating systems will require specific approval."

Home Rule for Clean Heat (passed 2021 ATM, waiting for state legislature approval in 2022 or later): requires no fossil fuel use for space and water heating in new buildings and major renovations (some exceptions)

Incentive Zoning for office buildings (Article 16 from 2020-2 STM, in effect) requires new buildings over six stories in Hartwell commercial district to have no onsite combustion for HVAC

Town legislation next steps under consideration:

-- Incentive Zoning for Life Science and Lab buildings (Potential warrant article to be brought to Fall 2021 Special Town Meeting, that, if approved, would require new plan use Incentive Zoning to require reduced fossil fuel use from the larger biotech lab/life science buildings that are likely coming to the Hartwell Ave. commercial district.)

-- BERDO (Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance): would be required for all buildings

-- Advocate and adopt Net Zero Stretch Energy Code (aiming December 2022)

Community engagement:

    • Business and development community

    • Residents and property owners

    • Town boards and committees (Town Meeting, Select Board, and Planning Board)

    • Town staff (Town Manager, Sustainability Director, Planning Office, Building Office, Land Use, Health, and Development)

Building electrification provides Clean Heat

Boston's presentation on building emission reduction

Do heat pumps work in extreme cold weathers?

Here is a MrCool video explaining how it works!

(The example in the video is a ducted, central heat pump, which works very similarly as a ductless, mini split.)

Can Hybrid HVAC work in lab buildings?

Example of best practices in lab buildings: Sustainability Goals for Ground-up Development of New Buildings by Alexandria Real Estate (ARE)