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BDC Reports

Neighborhood Scale: The Future of Building Decarbonization

Neighborhood Scale, Thermal Energy Networks (TENs)


BDC Neighborhood Scale Report CoverBDC has partnered with Gridworks to bring you Neighborhood Scale: The Future of Building Decarbonization. This whitepaper draws on the expertise of stakeholders from nearly every sector of building decarbonization to posit a framework for scaling up our efforts to reach ambitious climate goals. We call this framework neighborhood-scale building decarbonization.

Neighborhood decarbonization is an emerging strategy that focuses on transitioning street segments, developments, or even entire neighborhoods to decarbonized energy sources and electric appliances with the end goal of managing the transition off of the gas system. The dominant approach to building decarbonization—an “appliance-by-appliance” or “house-by-house” approach—primarily relies on a mosaic of individual consumers, incentives, technologies, codes, contractors, utilities, and uneven access to capital. Neighborhood decarbonization coordinates these actors and resources to reduce the total cost of the transition, create savings for ratepayers, ensure continued energy reliability and safety, and encourage an equitable distribution of clean energy benefits. Decarbonizing the built environment block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, and town by town makes possible a more comprehensive and equitable strategy for meeting our climate goals.

Interested in learning more about neighborhood decarbonization? Watch our recording from Thursday, January 25th, 2024 for BDC Presents on Neighborhood Scale: The Future of Building Decarbonization. Watch here

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