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To be truly net-zero, buildings must buy 100% renewable energy, global council says

By District Energy posted 12-19-2023 13:24


WBCSD’s net-zero operational carbon buildings report, released November, calls for a clear and globally consistent definition of net-zero buildings. Businesses, portfolio owners and investors who have made corporate net-zero commitments lack “a single robust certifiable definition” for what constitutes a net-zero building, the global organization said. 

Once the market can consistently distinguish between buildings that achieve net-zero status and those that do not, assigning a higher value to net-zero buildings can attract investments and drive market growth, the report notes.

In an interview, Frank Cuomo, general manager at Consolidated Edison, said the market has not settled on how to measure carbon compliance, carbon reduction and similar benchmarks. “Where does it stop? Does it stop with the building wall? Do you count fugitive emissions of the utility? How do you account for the carbon?” he asked.

Cuomo, who manages the utility provider’s steam service, explained that “If a building says it’s net-zero, does it mean they are buying enough renewable energy to offset their carbon? Or does it mean they produce no carbon? It’s unclear what the rules are around that. There’s a lot of terms and nomenclature that’s used [and] there’s no agreed-upon standard.” 

Read the Entire Article in Facilities Dive