Net Zero Task Force

Energy Efficiency Houses

In December 2013, the City of Cambridge created the “Getting to Net Zero Task Force” charged with advancing the goal of putting Cambridge on the trajectory towards becoming a “net zero community”, with focus on carbon emissions from building operations. This includes reducing energy use intensity of buildings and taking advantage of opportunities to harvest energy from renewable sources.

To guide this process, City Manager, Richard C. Rossi, appointed a thirteen-member committee comprised of residents, community advocates, business and property owners, developers and representatives of local universities. This committee will be working collaboratively with a team of technical consultants with support from City staff to examine strategies and develop recommendations that address the following topics:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment 
  • Improve energy efficiency and conservation in existing and new buildings 
  • Support renewable energy generation both on- and off- site 
  • Best practices to engage and educate users and influence occupant behavior

The Task Force is assigned to study the technical aspects of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in greater detail and develop comprehensive, actionable, long and short term recommendations; these may include changes to City ordinances, zoning policies, and other directives.

Email  Join the Net Zero Task Force Mailing List.


Monday May 4, 2015

The Net Zero Action Plan has been completed and sent to the City Council as part of the City Manager's Agenda for Monday, May 4

Check out snapshots of the of the Framework and Action Plan & Timeline:

    Thursday April 16, 2015

    Upcoming meeting of interest: Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor Ballroom. This is the last scheduled meeting of the Net Zero Task Force. After this last meeting, the Task Force's recommendations will be submitted to the City Manager. It is anticipated that in early May the City Manager will forward the recommendations to the City Council for discussion.

    Wednesday April 8, 2015

    Public Forum: The Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge

    Join us for a public forum on The Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge featuring the Net Zero Task Force and a presentation of their 25-year action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from building operations citywide! The purpose of this forum is for Task Force members to present their recommendations to the public followed by a question and comment session. This is an opportunity for the City to solicit public input and support on the Task Force’s recommendations as well as receive feedback on issues of concern. See the draft action plan below!

    DRAFT Net Zero Task Force Reports

    WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015

    Net Zero Task Force meeting, Wednesday, March 4th from 7:00 P. M. to 9:00 P. M. Smith Campus Center, 2nd Floor, 1344 Massachusetts Avenue. Entrance located next to Cambridge Trust (to the left of the main entrance). A sign will be on the door indicating the location

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 

    CANCELLED: Net Zero Task Force meeting. Wednesday, February 11th from 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. Location and details to follow.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    (Postponed due to weather)

    Upcoming meeting of interest: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor Ballroom. Details to follow.

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Interim Net Zero Task Force Meeting: Monday, January 12, 2015, 11:30AM to 1:30PM at 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room. We will be hosting an interim Net Zero Task Force meeting to continue discussions on the draft bold moves action plan. For more information on the draft bold moves plan, go to the "Presentations & Meeting Materials" Tab to review the December 10 meeting minutes and presentation.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Upcoming meeting of interest: Wednesday, December 10, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st floor ballroom.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Upcoming meeting of interest: Wednesday, November 19, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. **Please note the location change** 

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest: Wednesday, October 8, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue. We will be hearing presentations on the challenges and opportunities of single-family and multi-family residences as well as reviewing the results of the prioritization exercise regarding the preliminary working group ideas. *See agenda under "Presentations & Meeting Materials" Tab

    Tuesday, September 23

    Public Forum: Getting toward Net Zero, 6:00 P. M. to 8:30 P. M. 

    • Join us for a discussion at the Cambridge Main Public Library, Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway: Getting toward Net Zero featuring guest panelists and big ideas for reducing carbon emissions from buildings. The purpose of this forum is for the City to present the Net Zero Task Force's preliminary ideas to the public followed by guest expert analysis and feedback in addition to public comment. Panelists will craft an objective response to the preliminary ideas and offer recommendations moving forward. This is an opportunity for the City to solicit public input on the preliminary ideas as well as receive feedback on issues of concern.

    Featuring Guest Panelists:

    • Ralph DiNola, Executive Director, New Buildings Institute
    • Luke Falk, Sustainability Manager, Related Companies
    • Christina Halfpenny, Director, Energy Efficiency Division, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Click here to view the invitation

    August 6, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest: Wednesday, August 6, 6:00 P. M. to 8:30 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue.

    Check out the Policy Best Practices Report, click here.

    June 25, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest: Wednesday, June 25, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue. Please note the location change.

    June 4, 2014

    The most recent Net Zero Task Force meeting was held on Wednesday, June 4, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Main Library, 449 Broadway in the Community Room. Task Force members discussed the ideas from each of the four working groups. Working Group facilitator, Barbra Batshalom led the discussion in which Task Force members clarified their concerns and shared ideas that excite them most. In addition, Integral Group's, Rachel Moscovich proposed a 2014 engagement plan. The meeting concluded with public comment in which attendees raised concerns and shared new ideas for consideration.

    May 14, 2014

    The May Net Zero Task Force meeting was held on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Citywide Senior Center. Members from each of the four working groups reported back to the Task Force. In addition, Integral Group project consultant presented an overview of energy supply and renewable energy options. The meeting concluded with a group exercise to help develop an engagement strategy over the course of the year.

    April 9, 2014

    The third Net Zero Task Force meeting was held on April 9, 2014 at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber. Members from each of the four working groups reported back to the Task Force. In addition, Dave Ramslie, Integral Group, led a discussion of early action items and recommendations and Paul Gromer, Peregrine Energy Group, presented a preview the Cambridge Building Energy primer. All meeting materials may be found under the "Presentations & Meeting Materials" tab.

    Early April 2014

    The first meetings of the Net Zero Task Force Working Groups were held on April 7 and 8. Attendees were presented a roadmap of the working group process. In addition, the project consultants facilitated working group conversations to identify conditions that characterize the current state in Cambridge. For working group meeting minutes, please check under the "Working Groups" tab.

    Mid-March 2014

    The project team is currently organizing the Net Zero Task Force Working Groups. Working Groups are charged with investigating the following topics in detail: regulation and planning approaches; incentives and financing tools; energy supply and offsets; and engagement and behavior change. For more information on the Net Zero Task Force Working Groups, check under the "Working Groups" tab.

    March 5, 2014

    The second Net Zero Task Force meeting was held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at City Hall, Sullivan Chamber. Integral Group consultants provided an overview of best practices from other cities. In addition, the Task Force were presented a revised proposal for the Net Zero Task Force Working Groups. For more information on the Net Zero Task Force Working Groups, please check under the "Working Groups" tab. All other meeting materials may be found under the "Presentations & Meeting Materials" tab.

    January 28, 2014

    The first Getting to Net Zero Task Force meeting was held on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at the City Hall Annex. The Task Force was presented an overview of the scope and work plan for the year. In addition, City staff discussed other related Cambridge initiatives that support the vision of the Net Zero Task Force. For meeting minutes, please check under the "Presentations & Meeting Materials" tab.

    Monday May 4, 2015

    • Upcoming City Council meeting of interest - Monday, May 4th 5:30 P. M., City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The Net Zero Action Plan has been completed and submitted to the City Council as part of the City Manager's Agenda for Monday night's Council meeting.

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Net Zero Task Force Meeting
    • Thursday, April 16, 2015
    • Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor Ballroom

    Join us for the last scheduled meeting of the Net Zero Task Force. After this meeting, the Task Force's recommendations will be submitted to the City Manager. It is anticipated that in early May the recommendations will then be forwarded to the City Council for discussion.

    Wednesday April 8 , 2015

    Public Forum: The Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge

    Join us for a public forum on the Path towards a Net Zero Cambridge featuring the Net Zero Task Force and a presentation of the 25-year action plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from building operations citywide! The purpose of this forum is for the Task Force members to present their recommendations to the public followed by a question and comment session. This is an opportunity for the City to solicit public input on the Task Force's recommendations.

    March 4, 2015

    RESCHEDULED Net Zero Task Force Meeting
    • Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 7:00 P. M. to 9:00 P. M.
    • Smith Campus Center, 2nd Floor, 1344 Massachusetts Avenue
    • Entrance located next to Cambridge Trust (to the left of the main entrance). A sign will be on the door indicating the location

    February 11, 2015

    CANCELLED Net Zero Task Force Meeting
    • Wednesday, February 11 2015, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M.
    • Location and details to follow

    January 28, 2015

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest (CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER)
    • Wednesday, January 28 2015, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M.
    • Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor Ballroom
    • Agenda and details to follow

    January 12, 2015

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Monday, January 12 2015, 11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P. M.
    • 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room
    • Agenda and details to follow

    December 10, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, December 10, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M.
    • Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor ballroom

    November 19, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest

    October 8, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, October 8, 6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue
    • *See agenda under "Presentations & Meeting Materials" Tab

    September 23, 2014

    Public Forum: Getting towards Net Zero, 6:00 P. M. to 8:30 P. M.
    • Join us for a discussion at the Main Public Library, Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway: Getting towards Net Zero featuring guest panelists and big ideas for reducing carbon emissions from buildings. The purpose of this forum is for the City to present the Net Zero Task Force's preliminary ideas to the public followed by guest expert analysis and feedback in addition to public comment. Panelists will craft an objective response to the preliminary ideas and offer recommendations moving forward. This is an opportunity for the City to solicit public input on the preliminary ideas as well as receive feedback on issues of concern.

    Featuring Guest Panelists:

      • Ralph DiNola, Executive Director, New Buildings Institute
      • Luke Falk, Sustainability Manager, Related Companies
      • Christina Halfpenny, Director, Energy Efficiency Division, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

    September 17, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, September 17, 5:00 P. M. to 9:00 P. M. at Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, 1st Floor Conference room. The entrance to the conference room is the door to the left of the main entrance.

    August 6, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, August 6, 6:00 P. M. to 8:30 P. M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue

    July 29, 2014

    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, July 29, 8:30 A. M. to 10:00 A. M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Behavior Change & Engagement Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, July 29, 4:00 P. M. to 5:30 P. M., City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    July 28, 2014

    Regulation & Planning Approaches Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, July 28, 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M., City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, July 28, 4:00 P. M. to 5:30 P. M., City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    July 8, 2014

    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, July 8, 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, July 8, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    July 7, 2014

    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, July 7th, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    June 25, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, June 25 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue. Please note the location change.

    June 17, 2014

    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, June 17, 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, June 17, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    June 16, 2014

    Regulation and Planning Approaches Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, June 16, 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, June 16, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    June 4, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, June 4 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Main Library, 449 Broadway in the Community Room, Level L2. Enter the main entrance of the library and take the elevator to Level "L2". *Please note the location change.

    June 3, 2014

    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, June 3, 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, June 3, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    June 2, 2014

    Regulation and Planning Approaches Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, June 2, 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, June 2, 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room

    May 14, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, May 14 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue.

    May 6, 2014

    Regulation & Planning Approaches Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, May 6 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room.
    Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, May 6 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room.

    May 5, 2014

    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, May 5 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room.
    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, May 5 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room.

    April 9, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, April 9 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Sullivan Chamber.

    April 8, 2014

    Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, April 8 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group Meeting
    • Tuesday, April 8 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    April 7, 2014

    Regulation & Planning Approaches Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, April 7 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room
    Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Meeting
    • Monday, April 7 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room

    March 5, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Wednesday, March 5 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Sullivan Chamber

    January 28, 2014

    Net Zero Task Force Upcoming Meeting of Interest
    • Tuesday, January 28 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room.

    Community Advocates/Residents

    • Henrietta Davis, former Mayor of Cambridge
    • Andrea Love, Resident, Payette Architects
    • Barun Singh, Resident, Founder & CTO, Wegowise
    • Quinton Zondervan, Executive Director, Climate Action Liaison Coalition

    University/Climate Compact Representatives

    • Heather Henriksen, Director of the Office for Sustainability, Harvard University
    • Julie Newman, Director of Sustainability, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Planning Board

    • Tom Sieniewicz, Planning Board member, NBBJ

    Business/Property Owner/Developer Representatives

    • Bill Kane, Vice President, Leasing & Development, BioMed Realty
    • Joseph Maguire, Vice President at Alexandria Real Estate Equities

    Subject Matter Experts

    • Jane Carbone, Director of Development, Homeowner's Rehab
    • Caitriona Cooke, Program Director, Conservation Services Group
    • Emily Grandstaff-Rice, President, Boston Society of Architects/ Cambridge Sevens Associates
    • Shawn Hesse, Architect, Sustainability Expert, Emersion Design
    • Marc Hoffman, Energy Efficiency Advisor
    • Paul Lyons, President, Zapotec Energy

    April 16, 2015

    April 8, 2015

    Public Forum: The Path to a Net Zero Cambridge
  • Presentation 
  • DRAFT Net Zero Task Force Reports

    March 4, 2015

  •  Presentation
  • January 12, 2015

  • December 10, 2014 Meeting Materials

    November 19, 2014 Meeting Materials

    October 8, 2014 Meeting Materials

    • Agenda
    • Meeting minutes
    • Presentation
      • Caitriona Cooke, Program Director, Conservation Services Group
      • Jane Carbone, Director of Development, Homeowners Rehab, Inc.
      • Dave Ramslie, Principal, Integral Group
    • Presentation
      • Harvey Michaels, Energy Efficiency Lecturer, Director of MIT Energy Efficiency Strategy Project   

    September 23, 2014 Getting towards Net Zero Public Forum

    September 17, 2014 Meeting Materials

    Early September DRAFT Preliminary Working Group Ideas

  • Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group Ideas
    • August 6, 2014 Task Force Meeting Materials

      June 25, 2014 Task Force Meeting Materials

      June 4, 2014 Task Force Meeting Materials

      May 14, 2014 Net Zero Task Force Meeting Materials

      April 9, 2014 Net Zero Task Force Meeting Materials

      Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) statute letter of support

      March 5, 2014 Net Zero Task Force Meeting Materials

      January 28, 2014 Net Zero Task Force Meeting Materials

      Net Zero Task Force Working Groups

      The Net Zero Task Force Working Groups are charged with completing a particular set of tasks over the course of the year to complement and support the development of a net zero plan for Cambridge. Working groups are comprised of Task Force members and community representatives with specific subject matter expertise. To view a list of the Working Group members, click here.

      The working groups will review and conduct, as needed, research and analysis to formulate preliminary recommendations within subject areas including regulation and planning approaches, energy supply and offsets, incentives and financing tools, and engagement and behavior change. The Task Force will provide feedback and ultimately determine which recommendations should be included in the plan. All working group meetings are open to the public. To view the Net Zero Task Force Working Group Starter Kit, click here.

      Working Group Meeting Materials

      Energy Supply & Offsets Working Group
      Engagement & Behavior Change Working Group

      Regulation & Planning Approaches Working Group
      Incentives & Financing Tools Working Group

       

      For more information on the Getting to Net Zero Task Force, please contact Ellen Kokinda at ekokinda@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4618.