Planning for Equitable Existing Building Electrification

While many cities have begun the transition to decarbonize new construction through electrification ordinances, the conversion of existing buildings from mixed fuel to all-electric must consider the implications for low-income, disadvantaged, and historically under-invested communities. This session presents a facilitated discussion with the parties involved in the recently completed City of Berkeley Existing Building Electrification Strategy, which serves as a guide to an equitable transition of existing buildings from fossil fuel reliance to primarily renewable electricity by identifying the policy, funding, and regulatory processes which must be addressed. The City of Berkeley strategy is a first of its kind document which combines a parcel level cost and energy assessment of electrification options, funding mechanisms for the electric building transition, and a thorough evaluation of the equity impacts on the community. To develop the strategy, the project team conducted extensive and targeted outreach to Berkeley’s marginalized communities and received substantial feedback that guided the goals, timeline, and associated actions. The discussion panel will address topics relevant to their expertise and development of the strategy, including the detailed analysis of existing residential buildings, extensive community engagement, equity considerations, regulatory constraints, and electrification policy development.