Clean Heat Lexington
Clean Air, Cool Planet: It's Electrifying!
Clean Heat Lexington is an alliance of Sustainable Lexington Committee, Lexington Climate Action Network, Mothers Out Front Lexington, and LPS Green Teams. We are volunteers working to help the town electrify our buildings.
Our community outreach includes engagement with:
Residents and property owners
Business and development community
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)
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 legislations on sustainable buildings (accomplished)
✓ Community Choice (Electricity from Renewable Sources) (effective 2015) provides residents and businesses with electricity generated from 100% 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."
✓ 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
✓ Home Rule for Clean Heat (passed 2021 ATM, included in state Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind Aug 2022): requires no fossil fuel use for space and water heating in new buildings and major renovations (some exceptions)
✓ Incentive Zoning for Life Science and Lab buildings (Article 17 Sustainable Design for Hartwell passed 2021 STM, disapproved by AGO June 2022) requires reduced fossil fuel use from the larger biotech lab/life science buildings that are likely coming to the Hartwell Ave. commercial district.
✓ Article 31 BEU-D (Building Energy Use Disclosure) (passed 2022 All Town Meeting, pending AGO approval) requires all buildings over 25K sq ft to report their gas and electricity use annually so that the town can report annually on building green house gas emission intensity.
Town legislation next steps under consideration:
! Advocate for and adopt the state's Net Zero Specialized Stretch Energy Code (aiming December 2022)
! Implement Home Rule for Clean Heat and follow the DOER process that allows 10 communities to regulate clean heat in new buildings.