South Portland Progress

Buildings & energy

14 in progress
10 not started

(updated December 2021)


BE 1.1 Renewable Municipal Electricity

Pursue power purchase agreements (PPAs) to reach 100% renewable energy for city facilities ahead of state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) schedule.

Status: In progress

Update: Three new solar projects at the Community Center, capped landfill, and an off-sight project will offset more than 85% of municipal electricity usage (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestones: All municipal electricity use met by renewable energy by 2032

BE 1.2 Net-Zero Energy New City Buildings

Pursue net-zero energy (NZE) buildings for new city government buildings through performance-based procurement.

Status: In progress

Update: Facilities committee created; net-zero energy goal incorporated in building design scenarios (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestones: All newly constructed or gut-rehabbed city buildings to be NZE or NZE-ready starting in 2026

BE 1.3 Energy Efficiency Retrofits for City Buildings

Develop a strategic energy management plan (SEMP) for all city facilities and lead by example by pursuing deep energy retrofits and electrification for large existing city buildings.

Status: Not started

Update: Upcoming, work with Facilities Department to conduct energy audits on existing buildings and develop SEMPs for retrofits and electrification

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestones: SEMPs commissioned by 2025; deep energy retrofits underway by 2026; all retrofits to be net zero energy completed by 2030

BE 1.4 Internal Carbon Pricing for Municipal Construction

Create either a shadow carbon price for evaluating all city decisions, and/or an internal carbon charge paid to a central climate emergency fund.

Status: Not started

Update: None (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestones: Municipal shadow carbon price or carbon charge implemented by 2026

BE 2.1 Energy Stretch Code

Advocate for an advanced energy stretch code with an optional net-zero energy compliance path, and adopt the stretch code once finalized. Advocate for the stretch code to require net-zero energy buildings by 2030.

Status: In progress

Update: Adopted Maine Energy Stretch Code (IECC 2021) with solar-ready and zero energy alternative compliance pathways; learning and leading on building inspections (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Energy stretch code adopted immediately upon finalization; all new buildings to be net-zero energy starting in 2030

BE 2.2 Solar-Ready and EV-Ready Code Requirements

Adopt or advocate for solar-ready and Ev-ready requirements for new construction, followed by renewable energy generation building code requirements.

Status: In progress

Update: Adopting an EV charging requirement for new parking lots (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative

Key Milestone: EV-ready/solar-ready requirements to be implemented by 2028; on-site solar requirements to be implemented by 2032

BE 2.3 Code Enforcement

Ensure code compliance in all buildings through increased investment in robust code enforcement.

Status: Not started

Update: Mid-term strategy

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: At least one staff person or consultant hired to review energy models by 2026

BE 2.4 Leadership and Education

Partner with organizations in the building sector to develop and promote platforms for education and leadership in high-performance buildings.

Status: In progress

Update: Establishing a city-supported, industry-led program to make efficient, electrified, and resilient buildings the standard for South Portland (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: One or more platforms for high-performance building leadership and education launched by 2024

BE 3.1 Energy Benchmarking

Expand Portland and South Portland’s energy benchmarking programs, and couple with outreach programs to turn energy savings opportunities into action.

Status: In progress

Update: Replaced 2017 pilot program with new citywide Benchmarking Ordinance for buildings over 20,000 square feet; multi-unit residential buildings in 2023 (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: 80%+ compliance achieved within 2 years of utility data access challenged resolved, ideally by 2025

BE 3.2 Building Performance Standards

Incorporate tune-up or performance standards into the Cities’ benchmarking programs for large buildings to achieve carbon savings, and strengthen coordinated job-training programs to support building retrofits.

Status: Not started

Update: Mid-term strategy

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Performance standards identified within 2 years of fully implemented benchmarking with requirements adopted in following year

BE 3.3 Energy Efficiency Spending

Expand statewide and local energy efficiency spending; advocate for changes in Efficiency Maine spending that remove barriers for fuel switching.

Status: In progress

Update: Advocated for several state-level bills to increase funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy such as C-PACE and the Energy accelerator (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: By 2025, Efficiency Maine spending is equivalent to 5% of total electric sales and 2% of residential natural gas sales

BE 3.4 Renewable Heating and Cooling

Launch a program to shift single family homes and larger multifamily and commercial buildings from fuel oil directly to all-electric heating and cooling.

Status: In progress

Update: Developing an Electrify Everything! comprehensive program to decarbonize the residential sector (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Electrification incentive program launched by 2023; oil tanks to be code compliant or decommissioned by 2028

BE 3.5 Bulk Buy Program

Launch bulk buy programs for solar power and heat  pumps, paired with electric vehicles as appropriate.

Status: In progress

Update: Developing an Electrify Everything! comprehensive program to decarbonize the residential sector (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative

Key Milestone: Bulk buy program launched by 2023

BE 3.6 Solar Proliferation

Continue to enhance the attractiveness of solar through a solar proliferation strategy, as well as offering financial and/or structural incentives.

Status: In progress

Update: Developing an Electrify Everything! comprehensive program to decarbonize the residential sector (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Solar proliferation strategy launched by 2023; 50 MW of solar installed in the cities by 2030 and 245 MW of solar installed by 2050

BE 3.7 Energy Efficient Rental Housing

Require minimum energy efficiency standards for residential rental properties to decrease energy use, increase thermal comfort, and reduce energy costs paid by renters.

Status: Not started

Update: None (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Determination of whether to proceed with a rental minimum energy efficiency program by 2026

BE 4.1 Industrial Energy Efficiency Spending

Advocate for expanded energy efficiency incentives for large industrial users.

Status: Not started

Update: Upcoming, will meet with key industries, Efficiency Maine (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative

Key Milestone: Automatic industrial opt-out provision removed by 2028

BE 4.2 Industrial Energy and Decarbonization Study

Advocate for a statewide study on energy efficiency and decarbonization opportunities in the industrial sector to better target industrial combined heat and power, heat recovery, and renewable fuel oil or biogas.

Status: Not started

Update: None (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Industrial efficiency decarbonization study completed by 2025

BE 5.1 Renewable Portfolio Standard and Community-Scale Purchasing

Continue to advocate for full, timely, and cost-effective  implementation of Maine’s renewable portfolio standard; in case it becomes necessary, advocate for municipal authority to bulk procure renewable power on behalf of residents, businesses, and municipal users.

Status: In progress

Update: Continues to be on track (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Electricity to be 80% renewable by 2030 and 100% renewable by 2050

BE 5.2 Utility Data Access Reform

Reform data access by pursuing legislation that would require utilities to disclose data with building owners and municipalities.

Status: In progress

Update: Advocated successfully for legislation mandating the PUC to issue an RFI to inform the development of a statewide aggregated data platform (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Access to whole building and citywide data by 2024; access to automated data connection by 2024

BE 5.3 Utility Regulatory Reform to Support Electrification

Advocate for regulatory reforms to support statewide electrification and the integration of distributed energy resources.

Status: In progress

Update: Participating in statewide discussions about rate design, DER strategy, and innovation; advocating for legislation to support reforms (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Continue to build on 2020 legislative initiatives

BE 5.4 Renewable District Energy Systems

Identify opportunities and encourage the development of fully electric low temperature thermal district energy systems for new and existing developments and campuses.

Status: Not started

Update: None (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: All new development over 500,000 square feet to evaluate district energy/microgrids starting within one year of microgrid enabling legislation

BE 5.5 Electrical Transmission and Distribution

Improve the efficiency and capacity of transmission and distribution networks to improve electricity supply to Portland and South Portland.

Status: In progress

Update: Working with Central Maine Power and Efficiency Maine to develop a hosting capacity study, and CMP/PUC to increase capacity of the local grid; participating in non-wires alternative (NWA) docket at PUC (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: Hosting capacity study launched by 2025

BE 5.6 Natural Gas Phase-Out

Advocate for a state-level ban on new intrastate natural pipelines and any state support for interstate gas pipelines, and advocate for allowing local jurisdictions to limit new and expanded natural gas connections.

Status: Not started

Update: Upcoming, explore the legality of and advocate for natural gas phase-out (updated December 2021)

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative, resilient

Key Milestone: A just plan for transitioning to clean heating developed by 2025; statewide restrictions on new interstate and intrastate gas pipelines in place by 2030, along with defined timeframes for phasing out natural gas

BE 5..7 Carbon Pricing

Continue to advocate for carbon pricing at national, regional, and statewide scales.

Status: Not started

Update: Long-term strategy

Transformative potential: Equitable, regenerative

Key Milestone: Price on carbon as soon as feasible at national, regional, or statewide scale