A decarbonization plan is a roadmap for how a building can transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy sources. The process combines building energy efficiency measures with electrification of the mechanical systems. Full decarbonization is achieved once the building's electricity is provided from carbon-free sources such as renewable energy credits, or on-site generation.
The graphic below summarizes an example decarbonization plan. Recommended projects, upgrades, and replacements are grouped into three categories: weatherization, mechanical systems, and building systems. Arrows show the order in which certain projects should be completed. For example, the electrical meter must be replaced before the boiler or the water heater can be replaced. The building owner can initiate projects over an extended timeline, coordinated with equipment failures, budgets, and other building renovations. The decarbonization plan guides and coordinates the projects to transition from the existing mechanical systems to a preferred electric systems.
Selecting an initial project
The green highlighted tasks above show the projects that the owner chose to combine for an initial project. Here is a simplified version of the project description the owner would use when hiring a design team:
In-room HVAC Equipment (Floors 1 and 3)
Lighting Upgrades (All floors except basement)
Controls Upgrades (Floors 1 and 3)