Efficient, Healthy and Resilient Buildings

Buildings and Climate Change

Emissions from buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Eugene, which is why City Council has established a goal to decarbonize existing buildings by 2045. Buildings that are poorly insulated, lack efficient heating and cooling systems and rely on fossil fuels also make households and occupants more vulnerable to expensive energy bills, poor air quality and extreme weather events.

Building decarbonization means reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy usage to power homes and buildings. By transitioning to clean energy systems and upgrading to more efficient technology, we can improve the air we breathe, lower utility bills, support healthy jobs and fight the climate crisis. 

Pathways to Building Decarbonization

A preliminary report, Decarbonization by 2045 for Existing Residential, Commercial and Industrial Buildings, shares possible approaches for how to decarbonize residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Eugene. The report identifies the following three elements as best practices to decarbonize buildings.

The elements of building decarbonization are clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification.

Recent Action by City Council

City Council passed an ordinance in January 2023 to restrict fossil fuels in new residential buildings, but that ordinance was rescinded in July 2023. We have decided to pivot and focus on identifying solutions that have strong consensus and political viability. City Council passed two motions instructing staff to:

  1. Engage business sectors and marginalized communities to better understand their concerns (see below for more information on how to engage with us; and
  2. Research strategies that have been adopted in other cities that reduce fossil fuels in new construction.

Staff will be returning to City Council in June 2024 to report back on these motions. Now is the time for us to work together to identify potential solutions for decarbonizing new and existing buildings. 

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Financial Incentives to decarbonize

Community Engagement

From Fall 2023 through May 2024, the City is engaging the community to better understand the challenges and opportunities for reducing emissions in buildings and transitioning to clean and efficient energy technologies. Our engagement is focusing on marginalized communities who are most affected by climate change, as well as the residential and business sectors that contribute the most to building emissions. Stay tuned here and through our Engage Eugene project page to  learn how you can participate in the focus groups, listening sessions and survey.

We are currently recruiting commercial and industrial businesses to participate in a focus group:

  • Wednesday, February 14th, 10-11:30am: Food Manufacturing (food manufacturers, breweries, distilleries, coffee roasters, food storage)
  • Friday, February 16th, 10-11:30am: Industrial Manufacturing (manufacturers, processors, warehouses)
  • Thursday, February 22nd, 10-11:30am: Commercial Buildings (builders, owners, managers, commercial realtors, tenants)
  • Wednesday, February 28th, 10-11:30am: Rental Housing (landlords, property managers)
  • Thursday, March 7th, 10-11:30am: Residential Buildings (architects, developers, realtors)
  • Friday, March 15th, 10-11:30am: Institutions (public buildings, campuses)

To RSVP for focus groups, please contact Danielle Klinkebiel at dklinkebiel@eugene-or.gov.