A subgroup of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change has issued draft recommendations on how to reduce direct carbon emissions from buildings. The recommendations include requiring new buildings to be all-electric beginning in 2025 and requiring utilities to incentivize fuel switching of heat and hot water equipment in existing buildings. 

The recommendations cite a Rocky Mountain Institute study as evidence of lower capital and operating expenses in all-electric new buildings and call continued use of fossil fuel equipment counterproductive to meeting the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The all-electric buildings recommendation includes the potential for an exemption or subsidy if the life-cycle cost of an all-electric building is greater than the cost of a mixed-fuel design.

The subgroup’s recommendations also discuss creating a Maryland code compliance path for Net-Zero Energy All-Electric New Buildings”andadoptingcode amendments as soon as possible that would require new buildings to be electric-vehicle-charging-ready, solar-ready, smart-grid and demand-response ready.

Language in the recommendation suggests a further exemption for combined heat and power and district energy systems. However, a proposed state energy transition plan would evaluate ways to decarbonize these facilities using renewable fuels or carbon capture.  

Existing utility energy efficiency programs would be required to provide subsidy payments for switching propane and oil-fired heat and hot water equipment to electrical equipment.

Maryland Department of Environment will take comments on the draft until late September. A full copy of the recommendations is available here.