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Are the energy savings based on real life or on computer energy models? I think these incentives/penalties should be issued yearly based on actual energy usage in stead of being issued upfront at the permit counter based on unproven computer generated data.


A fee structure based on energy consumption is definitely the right idea. Energy savings in a few, or even a few hundred, individual buildings don't account for much of our aggregate energy usage (though they should save thier owners some money in the long run).

The only way to make green building technologies relevant from a sustainability perspective is to make them widespread. Otherwise innovations are only curiosities.

Jim Heuer

The proposed incentives for improved energy efficiency in new construction is laudable (assuming that the evaluation process can be made transparent and does, in fact, contribute to lower carbon consumption). However I do worry about the city's existing buildings, many of which are "historic" by some measure. A focus on new construction will have long term effects, but attaining lowered greenhouse gas emissions within the needed time frame will require a much broader set of improvements.

Much of the character of this city is derived from its well-designed and well-built historic structures. Saving one of them by intelligent retrofitting for reduced energy consumption saves the environment twice: once in immediately lowered energy consumption and secondly in avoidance of new construction and all the energy consumption from the production of the required new materials.

Generally speaking, historic preservation of our built environment is inherently "green", and I'd love to see more recognition of that from our city's leaders.

how do you spell relief: 4-9

carrots work better than sticks


Let's just not pretend this won't increase costs of development, and raise rents and increase housing costs in Portland. It will. How much depends on what this 'penalty fee' is. Maybe not a big deal for high-rise projects, but definately a big deal for mid and low rise development. Are we going to waive it for affordable housing, as if they are not contributing to global warning?

Much better would be an incentive system rather than penalty system. That would be a much more effective approach. This sounds great, but let's have an HONEST debate about the costs and who really ends up paying! The devil is in the details.

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