Policy Evaluation

The Carbon Free Boston project will assess the effects of specific policies on greenhouse gas emissions in four sectors of the City of Boston: energy, transportation, waste, and buildings. The extent to which a policy is evaluated will vary, depending in part on the extent and and quality of data. This list of policies was developed from (i) a review of other city’s mitigation plans by the ISE, (i) C40’s Deadline 2020 report, (ii) a 2016 scoping report for the Green Ribbon Commission, (iii) recommendations by the City of Boston’s Environment Department, and this project’s advisory committees for energy, buildings, transportation, and waste.

Transportation Sector
Evaluate different market penetration scenarios for  EV’s Trans. Vehicle Selection
Incentivize adoption of alternative fuel vehicles:

  •    Tax EV’s differently from ICE’s
  •    EV’s can utilize HOV lanes
  •    Parking incentives
  •    Increased EV Infrastructure
Trans. Vehicle Selection
Change the cost of driving through various parameters:

  •    Carbon tax
  •    Fuel tax
  •    Congestion Pricing for certain zones
  •    Additional tolls
  •    VMT fee
  •    City entrance fee
  •    Parking fees
Trans. Trip Selection
Car Bans

  •    Via registration requirements
  •    Prohibit ICE Entry
  •    Close off zones of the city (e.g. Downtown)
Transportation Car Ban
Impact of ride hailing on trip demand Transportation Trip Selection
Promote carpooling, ride-sharing, car-sharing, and High Occupancy Vehicle lanes

  •   Increase ride sharing & microtransit
  •   City could mandate/incentivize microtransit
Trans. Smart Mobility
Improve bikeability

  •    Added infrasctucture
  •    Bike support programs
Trans. Active Transit
Improve walkability Trans. Active Transit
Improve Bus Efficiency Trans. Public Transit
Implement projects in Go Boston 2030; assume passenger increase based on typical load factors and estimated service levels. Transportation Public Transit
Convert public transit, government, commercial, and taxi fleets to no- to low-carbon energy (electric, hybrid, natural gas, hydrogen) Transportation Fleets
Reduced transit fares/pass subsidies for workers. Trans. TDM
TDM/trip reduction requirements for either new development or all workplaces > X employees. Trans. TDM
TDM requirements for new residential (10+ units) modeled after San Francisco ordinance. Trans. TDM
Electrify buses and commuter rail. Trans. Public Transit
Electrify Class 5-7 trucks. Trans. Freight
Autonomous Vehicle Impact on traffic efficiency Trans. Traffic Efficiency
Energy Sector
80% Renewables by 2050 for MA Retail Electricity Sales Energy Grid
Renewable Gas Supply (H2, biogas) Energy Gas
Leak mitigation policy Energy Gas
In city solar generation
Mandate/incentivize solar panels on roofs,
Implement measures to ensure that PV owners can interconnect to the grid with standardized rules, minimized fees, and reasonable feed-in tariffs;
Energy In-city renewables
Install distributed renewable energy generation (e.g. solar) on city facilities Energy In-city renewables
Procure all municipal electricity from renewable sources Energy Procurement
Develop a comprehensive procurement framework to attribute emissions reductions to alternative sourcing of electricity. Evaluate cost allocation strategies:

  • Renewable energy certificates (RECs)
  • Power purchase agreements (PPA)
  • Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)
  • Evaluate local vs non-local options and requirements
Energy Procurement

  • Local vs non-local options
  • Framework design
Energy Offsets
Develop Low EUI & Electric New Building Archetypes Buildings New Builds
Develop Existing Building Archetypes and retrofit & electrification strategies Buildings Existing Buildings
Low – No Carbon New Builds

  • Zoning requirements
  • Building energy or carbon codes
  • Passive house requirement
  • Article 37 expansion
  • Microhousing requirements
Buildings New Builds

  • Time of sale retrofits EUI requirement
  • Time of major renovation EUI requirement
  • Minimum energy efficiency standards for rental housing by 20XX
  • Financing
  • Relaxing  zoning space requirements to allow for additional envelope insulation
Buildings Existing Buildings
Establish minimum energy efficiency standards for rental housing Buildings All Buildings
Require energy audits, rating, and disclosure, expanded BERDO, improved tracking Buildings All Buildings
Aggressive retrofits of city buildings Buildings Existing Buildings
Force the retirement or conversion of in-boundary and neighboring fossil-fuel district energy plants Buildings & Energy Supply Current District Energy
District energy requirements for new developments above a certain size threshold Buildings & Energy Supply New District Energy & New Growth
High density development Trans. & Buildings Land Use
First mover groups achieve EUI targets by target dates First Movers Buildings Existing Buildings
First mover groups achieve 100% Renewable at target dates First Movers Energy Procurement
Boston Growth Scenario Growth Land Use
Increase rate of recycling for materials in MSW waste stream Waste
Increase dviersion of organics in MSW stream to composting Waste
Reduce GHG emissions from wastewater treatment Waste