NZAP Action Table

Click on each of the Action Areas below to learn more about the activities we'll undertake to get to net zero.

For each activity, the timeline corresponds to the following number of years:

  • Short: 1-2 years
  • Medium: 3-5 years
  • Long: 5+ years

Net Zero Action Plan

Reduce, Replace, Renewables

There are several key ways to reduce emissions from buildings, as the graphic here illustrates. We must use less energy by investing in energy efficiency (Reduce), use cleaner energy by replacing fossil fuel-based appliances and building systems with electric versions (Replace), and ensure that all our our electricity is generated with renewable, zero emissions sources like solar and wind (Renewables).

Cambridge's Net Zero Action Plan uses these three strategies to drive emissions down. Action Areas 1 and 2 focus on Reducing and Replacing, while Action Area 3 focuses on Renewables. Action Area 4 supports all actions by securing funding and capacity for implementation. 

Net Zero Action Plan

Defining Net Zero

Residents, universities, businesses and the City are collaborating to reduce energy use in buildings and increase access to renewable energy. Cambridge has set a "net zero" target for all buildings in the community, and has created a "Net Zero Action Plan" to outline strategies to help each building reach the net zero emissions goal. You can see how we define net zero in the graphic to the left. 

Net Zero Action Plan

Ensuring Equitable Net Zero Action

As part of the 5-year review, the City assessed NZAP actions to ensure the plan's benefits and burdens are equally distributed. The Building Energy Retrofit Program, for example, provides pathways for retrofits for a variety of building types, including promoting energy efficiency in multifamily buildings and within communities who benefit the most from reduced energy costs. Construction of new net zero buildings reduce energy costs and improve indoor air quality for residents.

Net Zero Action Plan

Cambridge Emissions Reduction Strategies

Each of the actions in the NZAP has the potential to reduce the City's GHG emissions over time. Hover over the different colorful wedges on the graph below to understand the estimated emissions reductions associated with each action! Note that, like all models, this graph is meant to portray rough estimates versus precise predictions.

Notably, the Targets associated with the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (1.2 BEUDO Targets, the blue wedge) are estimated to reduce emissions by approximately 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) between now and 2050. Together, the implementation of all NZAP measures has the potential to reduce emissions by approximately 12 million MTCO2e.

How You Can Help

Keep Your Commercial Building In Compliance

Stay up-to-date on energy use disclosure and green building requirements that may affect you or your building. 

Also, buildings subject to the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO) can take advantage of the Cambridge Building Energy Resource Hub to make building upgrades cheaper and easier.

Get Help with Retrofits for your BEUDO-Covered Building
Review Building Energy Disclosure Requirements
Review Green Building Requirements

How You Can Help

Get Your Home or Building on the Net Zero Path

Sign your building up for one of Cambridge Energy Alliance’s programs. The Energy Alliance offers

  • Virtual energy assessments for renters, landlords, and homeowners
  • Energy assessments for small businesses and non-profits
  • Financial help for energy bills and energy improvements for low-income residents
  • Support with heat pumps, solar hot water, and solar PV, too!

Check out MassSave for many more money-saving opportunities for residents, landlords, and business owners.

Get Support for Efficiency in Your Home or Business
Find Cost-Saving Energy Programs