Boston Herald

Mayor pushes energy-efficiency

- By Sean Philip Cotter sean.cotter@bostonhera­ld. com

In the latest part of her “Green New Deal” push, Mayor Michelle Wu’s proposing legislatio­n to move Boston to the state’s new electricit­y-focused standards and is putting federal recovery money toward retrofitti­ng affordable housing to be more environmen­tally friendly.

Wu said she’s going to be filing an ordinance that would put Boston in line with the state’s “stretch code,” a set of regulation­s that cities and towns can opt into that’s aimed at reducing emissions from residentia­l buildings.

“Building a Green New Deal city means improving on our existing infrastruc­ture as well as investing in future resilient developmen­t,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This new green building code will help ensure that we set the foundation for healthy, resilient growth throughout our neighborho­ods.”

If passed by the city council, the ordinance change would require new residentia­l buildings to add wiring for future conversion to electrific­ation and to install solar, according to the city. Some gas or fossil-fuel energy use would be allowed for buildings under 4,000 square feet and for backup generators, if the building produces more energy than it uses, or a few other exceptions.

Last year, Wu filed legislatio­n to move the city toward banning fossilfuel hookups for new constructi­on above a certain size. Opponents including industry groups at the time said they worried that these types of changes would make it more difficult and expensive to building housing in a city that needs a lot more of it.

On Thursday, Wu also announced that the city would be using $10 million of the federal American Rescue Plan Act recovery money allotment it’s still working through to grant up to $50,000 per unit to owners of incomerest­ricted housing for “for deep energy retrofits.”

Buildings with 15 or more units are eligible. The administra­tion is also offering up to $10,000 for technical assistance for owners.

The possible uses for this money include installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances, upgrading insulation, installing solar panels, replacing heating and cooling systems and swapping in more energy-efficient windows and doors.

Wu ran for mayor vowing a “Green New Deal” for the city, looking to focus on environmen­tal issues.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States