Just announced by the mayor’s office:
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced new steps to further electrify buildings using clean energy and ban fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will ban the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data. These actions come as new City data show building emissions have been steadily increasing in past years. …
After years of notable progress in reducing climate pollution, Seattle’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory shows that Seattle’s overall core greenhouse gas emissions – emissions from our waste, transportation, and building energy sectors – increased 1.1% since the last report. The largest greenhouse gas emissions increase was the buildings sector, which increased 8.3% between 2016 and 2018, a significant jump. Major factors contributing to the increase in building emissions are new buildings with fossil gas space and water heating, colder winters, warmer summers, and a growing population and workforce. Residents and businesses will be able to view additional data and visualizations by visiting the Office of Sustainability and Environment site. ….
The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:
-Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
-Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
-Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
-Creates more opportunities for solar power
-Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings …
In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. …
The Mayor will transmit legislation to City Council at the end of the year. City Council will discuss the legislation, and with their vote of approval, would allow code updates to become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.
You can read the full announcement here.