SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any other general or special law or any regulation to the contrary, the City of Northampton may by ordinance require new and substantially remodeled or rehabilitated buildings to use electricity for all building energy needs, including but not limited to heating and cooling systems, hot water systems, cooking, and clothes dryers by electricity, thermal solar, or such other technology as the City, by ordinance, shall prescribe.
SECTION 2. As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
"Substantially remodeled or rehabilitated" means a renovation that requires a building permit and includes a reconfiguration of space or building systems that affects 51% or more of the building gross floor area, excluding garages and other covered parking, and includes a new or substantially modified HVAC system or hot water system. In the case of a building that is both residential and non-residential, "substantially remodeled or rehabilitated" means a renovation that includes 51% or more of the gross floor area of the residential or non-residential space, in which case electrification of the residential or non-residential space, as applicable, would be required.
SECTION 3: The City of Northampton may require that building permit applications for new and substantially remodeled or rehabilitated buildings identify the source of energy that will be used in the building.
SECTION 4. The City of Northampton may withhold the issuance of a building permit for a new or substantially remodeled or rehabilitated building that does not use electricity or solar thermal for its power source.
SECTION 5. The City shall provide for a waiver and appeals process for those circumstances in which compliance makes a project impractical to implement or imposes extraordinary challenges. Waiver requests shall be supported by a detailed explanation of the justification for such request, and by a proposed Alternative Compliance Pathway to be created after the ordinance is adopted. Any proposed Alternative Compliance Pathway will be required to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with declining statewide greenhouse gas emission limits specified in "An Act Creating a Next-Generation roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy." The process will provide that waivers may be subject to reasonable conditions. Where possible, waivers will be issued for specific portions of a project for which compliance is infeasible, impractical to implement, or imposes extraordinary challenges, rather than for entire projects.
SECTION 6. The requirements of this Ordinance do not apply to any of the following:
A. Freestanding outdoor cooking appliances that are not connected to the building's natural gas or propane infrastructure.
B. Freestanding outdoor heating appliances that are not connected to the building's natural gas or propane infrastructure.
C. Cooley Dickinson Hospital buildings constructed or substantially remodeled or rehabilitated in the future and located on the hospital campus.
D. Industrial, commercial or institutional processing facilities if the Planning Board determines that fossil fuel free operation is not feasible, because of cost or insufficient technology to meet the need.
E. Emergency, back-up, or standby power production.
F. Appliances to produce potable or domestic hot water from centralized hot water systems in buildings with a gross floor area of at least 10,000 square feet, if the Planning Board determines that to be the most feasible option.
G. Emergency repairs, or repairs to fossil fuel pipes deemed unsafe or dangerous by the building inspector.
H. Renovations that do not result in a new HVAC or hot water system installation, or substantial changes to existing fossil fuel infrastructure.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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