Achieving zero emissions from the existing building stock will require accelerating the rate and depth of energy upgrades by implementing policies that leverage building intervention points.
Building energy upgrades include:
- improvements in the energy efficiency of building operations,
- a shift to electric or district heating systems powered by carbon-free renewable energy sources, and
- the generation and/or procurement of carbon-free renewable energy.
Building intervention points occur at:
- building point-of-sale
- major renovations
- building systems, materials and equipment replacements
- capital improvement cycles
- zoning or use changes
- life-safety and resiliency upgrades (e.g. seismic, flooding, fire prevention, power disruption)
Energy upgrade policies that allow ample time for required upgrades to align with market-driven intervention points will help mitigate the cost barriers and disruption associated with any additional construction.
Energy upgrade policies will also catalyze an expanded market for building renovations and carbon-free renewable energy generation that will stimulate a sustained increase in local jobs, market growth, and tax revenue.