Eugene’s Road Map to Decarbonize Buildings
Emissions from buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Eugene. Decarbonizing buildings will not only reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also reduce the cost of energy and increase our resilience to extreme weather events.
In 2022, the City of Eugene contracted with Good Company to develop a preliminary roadmap on decarbonization opportunities and best practices that could be applied to residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Eugene. The final report identifies the following four pillars as best practices to decarbonize buildings.
Next Steps in the Effort
The City will begin community engagement this fall to increase understanding about the range of actions necessary to decarbonize buildings. The City also will build partnerships to better understand the challenges and opportunities across the Eugene community, especially with those most affected by climate change with a specific focus on historically marginalized communities.
Residents and businesses can access financial incentives recently made available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Incentives, rebates and tax credits are available to help make clean energy upgrades that will assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs.
What Else is the City Doing to Address Climate Change?
The City continues its focus on implementing the Climate Action Plan 2.0, which the City Council approved in 2020. The CAP 2.0 identifies 115 actions to reduce emissions not only in buildings, but also in transportation and waste. The City is committed to implementing these actions in a way that supports economic development and social equity. See our most recent annual report that shows our progress.
Recent Progress on CAP 2.0:
The City is prioritizing the implementation of 21 actions identified in the CAP 2.0 that are expected to have a significant impact on emissions reductions. Here are a several updates:
- In March 2022, the City’s wastewater treatment plant began turning methane from the wastewater treatment process into renewable natural gas for injection into the gas grid. This transforms a waste product with high global warming potential into a renewable product that is better for our environment. (Actions B16)
- The City has completed renovations of the Campbell Community Center and Echo Hollow Pool thanks to the support from the voter-approved 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond measure. These renovations included many conservation and efficiency improvements that have reduced electricity costs. (Action B6)
- The City continues to expand collection of food waste from residences and businesses through local haulers. Residents can now put food scraps directly into their yard debris bin. This keeps organic waste out of the landfill, reduces methane emissions at the landfill and creates a new market for compost vendors. (Actions F1-F2)
- The City is currently identifying walking, biking, safety and street tree projects to fund through the voter-approved 2022 Street Repair Bond Measure. Projects will support alternative transportation options across Eugene and expand our urban tree canopy to reduce the intensity of heat waves. (Actions T1, T3, R11)
- The City is seeing an increase in adoption of electric vehicles, with 3,576 registered electric vehicles in the City of Eugene—up from 1,887 in 2020. To support this transition, the City has installed 25 electric vehicle chargers that are accessible to the public and plans to install more in underserved areas. Driving an electric vehicle can save money on maintenance, repair and fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Actions T21, T25)
- The City is converting vehicles within its own fleet to electric and hybrid alternatives if they are able in order to meet the business need and at the time those vehicles need to be replaced. To date the City has purchased 11 electric, light-duty maintenance trucks, 22 hybrid police patrol vehicles and 12 electric parking enforcement vehicles. This is part of a larger strategy to decarbonize the City’s fleet. (Action T26)