Chicago to tackle climate change through new homes

solar
Photo credit Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago City Council passed the new 2022 Energy Transformation Code on Wednesday, which aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Under the ordinance, newly constructed residences must be ready for easy installation of electric appliances like electric stoves, clothes dryers and water heaters.

It also requires new low-rise commercial buildings, such as warehouses, be built with roofs capable of supporting solar panels.

The ordinance is part of an effort to shift Chicago away from natural gas, since about 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions are related to buildings and industry.

“The City of Chicago has long been a leader in adopting requirements for energy

efficiency and sustainable design,” said Mayor Lightfoot in a statement. “Our buildings are major contributors to Chicago’s carbon footprint, so it’s critical that every construction and renovation project increases the efficiency and sustainability of our building stock as part of Chicago’s commitment to combat climate change.”

Homebuilders will be eligible for rebates and tax credit programs that were created or expanded by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.

Officials say the City of Chicago will be at the front of the line to apply for $1 billion in federal financial assistance to support net zero energy code requirements.

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