Conserving energy is not about doing without - it is about doing without waste” Daniel Yergin, c.1973
We must move into the future not only by abandoning fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources, but must also simply use less energy, by adopting policies, programs, building standards and land use development rules that do not allow us to waste it.
Deb orchestrated the effort for Newton adopting the MA Stretch energy code (2009), led the effort for Newton to become an MA Green Community (2010), had a key role in the adoption (2008) and strengthening (2019) of the requirements for private construction seeking special permits. She championed the city switching to all electric municipal buildings, as well as internal policies to build to a much higher standard of quality and energy efficiency (adopted 2016), and championed the Citizens’ and City’s Climate Action Plan (adopted 2019) - and continue pushing for its rigorous implementation. As Chair of the Zoning & Planning committee, Deb led on Newton's adoption of the MA Specialized energy code (effective 1/2024), and is pursuing DOER approval for Newton to become one of the Ten Communities who may require electrification of new construction and substantial renovations. Our Sustainability Team and the Newton Citizens' Commission on Energy are working together to prepare a BERDO for Newton - a program that would require large building owners to show emissions reductions in existing buildings over time - which eventually will require electrification.
The most important climate, economic and social justice action that the City Council is taking is to allow our communities to evolve and grow more sustainably, by allowing more smaller homes in mixed use buildings near transit and existing infrastructure - where it makes the most sense. Over the past 4 years, as ZAP Chair, Deb has held a key role, in creating, refining alternative rules for 12 village center districts, to help renew and revive our village business centers.
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