Montgomery County has released its draft Climate Action Plan, proposing steps necessary to reach the county goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035.

The plan calls for an all-electric commercial and residential construction code beginning in 2022 and a net zero energy construction requirement beginning in 2030. 

Non-residential buildings will be subject to an energy reporting requirement. They will also be required to meet energy and water conservation performance standards. 

Deep energy retrofits and fuel switching of space heating and hot water equipment would be required at unit turnover and during major renovations. 

The plan seeks to electrify all private and public vehicles, including off-road construction equipment by 2035. The transportation section of the plan estimates the county will need 7,200 public electric vehicle charging stations up from 153 today. To increase the number of private charging stations, the plan advocates extending existing EV charging requirements for new construction to existing buildings when those buildings experience a turnover or major renovations.

Implementing the full complement of mitigation measures is projected to result in an 83% reduction in emissions by 2035. While significant and rapid, the plan’s reductions fall 17% short of the county’s goal. The remaining 17% of emissions from hard-to-reduce sources will be addressed through enhancement of forest cover, agricultural soils practices and other nature-based carbon sequestration actions.    

The county is holding virtual roundtables for the public and taking comments in advance of finalizing the plan in the spring of 2021. For more information about the draft plan and to provide feedback, please visit the Montgomery County climate web site

Source: Montgomery County Climate Action Plan