Back in 2017, the City and Town of Ithaca proposed a “green building policy” for new construction and major renovations that was pretty advanced for its time… in 2017. Now, in 2021, the City and Town are proposing to vote on it.
However, policy that was advanced in 2017 is not advanced today … they need to strengthen the law before passing it. YOU CAN HELP! Here are 3 easy actions for you to take before the public hearing TOMORROW. It will make a big difference to our representatives to know they have support for this important policy from a broad base of the community.
1. SIGN THE PETITION: Send an email to Sara Hess at email@example.com with your name, address and municipality asking her to add your name to the 114 people who have signed the following petition statement:
“I support the passage of the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS) ordinance for new buildings and major renovations because it will be the first tangible step towards reaching the aspirational goals of the City of Ithaca’s Green New Deal. Further, I urge that the 2025 code standards be adopted now, and 2030 standards be adopted in 2025.“
2. CONTACT CITY/TOWN OFFICIALS.
And/or…send an email to:
Nick Goldsmith, Sustainability Coordinator, NGoldsmith@cityofithaca.org
Also send it to the Mayor and all City Council members at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and send to Ithaca Town Board members at: email@example.com
or Call your representatives!
3. SPEAK AT THE PUBLIC HEARING Tomorrow! Feb 17th at 6:00pm via Zoom.
Register after 9:00 on the morning of Feb. 17. Contact Deborah Grunder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (607) 274-6551 for instructions on how to register.
WHAT TO WRITE OR SAY:
1. IDENTIFY yourself, say something about your commitment to environmental issues or changes you have made in your life. Identify groups you belong to that work on climate issues.
2. THANK the City Planning Dept and City Council for their years of writing and improving the existing building codes for Ithaca. State that you fully support passage of the code, and recommend improvements to strengthen it.
3. ASK for the following changes:
a.) Accelerate the timeline – adopt the 2025 code standards now, and 2030 standards in 2025. Many builders are already using heat pump technology that meets the 2020 requirements and does not rely on fossil fuels. For residential and small apartment buildings, building with greater energy efficiency and no fossil fuels is affordable now. Also, consider the utility costs to tenants and future owners of the buildings – tighter buildings, electric heat pumps, and more insulation means more comfort with lower bills (affordable and less pollution).
b.) Change the deadline for no fossil fuel use in new construction to 2022 instead of 2030. We can’t wait for another 9 years of building before energy systems are all electric. Construction with fossil fuel use now makes it not only harder to reach climate goals, but also harder for buildings to be improved in the future, and makes the buildings more expensive to heat/cool over time. The quicker we move to build with full electrification, the less pollution of air, water, and earth we will have.
c.) Adopt the NY Stretch Energy Code, effective 2021, in addition to the new Ithaca code changes. The NY Stretch Energy Code includes requirements for more insulation, tighter windows and other building improvements that are not required in the new local code. Together, they are far more effective than either one separately.
In addition, consider commenting on the following changes:
- eliminate points for walkability
- require independent verification of all reports and documentation
- eliminate points for biomass power generation (they have negative health and environmental costs)
- add requirements for electric vehicle charging stations as a percent of total parking spots
In just 5 or 10 minutes, you can write a short note to elected officials with a few main points. It will make a big difference to them if they receive 100 such emails, knowing they have support for this important policy from a broad base of the community.
Thanks for your quick action on this!