CORRECTION: We erroneously reported that passing Bill H.4477 would make Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinances (BERDO) unnecessary. Representative Khan’s bill addresses only new buildings and substantial renovations, for which it requires electrification. BERDO requires GHG emissions reductions from all buildings, including existing buildings.
On January 24, 2022, State Representative Kay Khan filed Bill H.4477, An act relative to the electrification of new and substantially renovated and rehabilitated buildings (Building for the Future), which would automatically apply to all new buildings and substantial renovations in the State, residential and commercial, and make community-by-community Home Rule petitions unnecessary.
Currently, any community seeking to require that new construction use electricity instead of fossil fuels for heating and cooling must apply to the state legislature for authority to do so via a home rule petition or attempt workarounds through local ordinances. These can be cumbersome and complicated. Passage of this bill would be a major step forward in allowing communities to make changes more easily.
In Representative Khan’s own words, “I am proud to announce that I have recently filed H.4477, An act relative to the electrification of new and substantially renovated and rehabilitated buildings (Building for the Future), which would require all new construction and major renovations to use electricity instead of fossil fuels for space heating and cooling, cooking, clothes drying, and hot water. This would be implemented statewide and not on a local opt-in basis, setting this bill apart from other related legislation in Massachusetts at this time.
We are facing a climate emergency. It is imperative that we eliminate the use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Natural gas, the most common fuel used for heating, is responsible for very significant emissions and leaks, even when turned off–presenting a danger and potentially aggravating asthma and lung conditions in people who are exposed to them. Taking this step is urgent and critical. The future is now!”