The building sector is the largest contributor to climate change in Connecticut.
2023 Build Better CT Policy Platform
Without meaningful legislative action now, we could end up spending millions of dollars on new and renovated buildings that lock in decades of wasted energy, air pollution, and avoidable greenhouse gas emissions.
Reduce Energy and Healthcare Costs
Improve Health and Comfort
Address Environmental Justice
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
New Construction Codes
Enact a statewide Stretch Code that can be voluntarily adopted by Municipalities and Update the CT High Performance Building Standards
SB 961 Carbon Free Schools
UPDATE: The stretch code was removed from SB 979. We'll have to table for next year.
Enact state procurement guidelines that require using building and construction materials with a smaller climate footprint.
HB 6401 Low Embodied Carbon Concrete in State Construction Projects.
Lock in energy savings, reduce pollution, increase health and comfort
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and improve health.
Embodied Carbon Reduction
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with building materials and construction
Connecticut has some of the highest energy costs in the nation and an aging and inefficient building stock. One of the most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is through energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency makes our state more resilient by reducing demands on the electric grid, reducing air pollution, energy burden, and the need for energy assistance. In addition to providing long-term economic stability, energy efficient buildings are also more healthy and comfortable.
Combusting fossil fuels inside of buildings causes indoor air pollution. In homes, this can produce air pollution at levels up to 10x beyond the thresholds set by the EPA for healthy outdoor air, and is estimated to be responsible for billions of health impact costs every year in the State of Connecticut.
The combination of efficient heat pumps and our current electrical grid results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using the most efficient gas furnace, and the energy from electric heating and cooking appliances can be offset with clean renewable energy with solar panels onsite or an increasingly clean electric grid.
Embodied carbon associated with the materials and construction of our built environment is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The most devastating effects of climate change cannot be avoided without addressing and reducing embodied carbon.
Strategies such as reducing the amount of concrete and steel used on a project and substituting low-carbon alternatives such as low-carbon concrete, mass timber, and other plant-based materials can not only reduce embodied carbon, but encourage the use of materials that sequester carbon.
Energy use in buildings is responsible for almost half of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions.
A recent study found that better home energy-efficiency scores led to lower mortgage defaults.
Energy-efficiency has the potential to reduce health impacts and save lives.
Home energy transparency policies increase investment in energy efficiency.
Each $1 invested in Connecticut’s energy-efficiency fund returns almost $3 in lifetime savings.
Building fossil fuel use accounted for about 32.7% of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.
Air pollution from burning fuels in Connecticut buildings led to an estimated 318 early deaths and $3.567 billion in health impact costs in 2017.
Electric heat pumps are typically 300% efficient vs a max of 95% for high-efficiency fossil fuel equipment because they move heat instead of generating heat.
A recent study showed that 12.7% of childhood asthma is attributable to gas stove use.
Embodied carbon accounts for approximately 23% of global greenhouse emissions, mostly related to concrete and steel.
There are concrete technologies available now that can reduce or eliminate the GHG emissions associated with concrete production.
Wood is a low carbon option for structures, and if forested sustainably, it can even sequester carbon.
Many other jurisdictions have enacted Buy Clean legislation that requires the local or state government to procure low-embodied carbon building materials.