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EB. Energy and Built Environment

Emissions from the built environment are either direct (emitted on-site, such as using a gas stove or water heater) or indirect (fossil fuels burned offsite, such as transporting construction materials or electricity usage from the electric grid). In Carmel, commercial and residential building energy use accounts for almost 60 percent of total GHG emissions (see Chapter 2), which indicates that there is great opportunity to reduce emissions in the sector.

The City of Carmel is already making strides in improving energy efficiency and energy conservation practices in municipal facilities. For example, the Fire Department has completed numerous building projects including a new maintenance and training center and a fire station that utilize energy and water efficient practices such as low-flow toilets and urinals. Additionally, the City is in the process of creating an energy benchmarking program that will require large municipal buildings to publicly report energy usage on an annual basis. The City is also working with developers to encourage adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy practices in municipal buildings. The Department of Community Services also has a green building checklist it provides to developers to raise awareness about less carbon-intensive building practices. Also, the Redevelopment Department requires developers to add solar to their new properties.

This section specifies ten strategies ranging from energy efficiency upgrades in households to streamlining the solar permitting process for residents and businesses. The majority of these actions will result in cost savings for the entire community as residents and businesses save on utility bills.