Policy & Advocacy

Green Building United approaches state and local policy efforts with an understanding that buildings are the primary driver of climate change in our region and by far the best opportunity to mitigate and to adapt to future climate impacts. 

Green Building United seeks to scale best practices through policy changes at the city and state levels with an emphasis on measuring impact and supporting implementation with technical assistance.

Green Building United Policy & Advocacy Committee

This committee of diverse professionals meets monthly to advocate for policy and legislation and to support implementation to advance a sustainable and healthy built environment.

Activities include:

  • Educating elected officials and staff on green building priorities through in-district meetings and lobby days
  • Serving on technical advisory committees on behalf of the organization
  • Providing testimony during committee hearings
  • Reviewing and providing feedback on legislation and regulations 
  • Signing and circulating letters of support for legislation
  • Assisting with creating educational materials and events 
  • Sharing policy updates and engagement opportunities with networks 

The committee meets on the first Thursday of each month from 8:30-9:30am. 

Policy & Advocacy Committee Volunteers

Committee Chair: Lindsey Walaski

Sherman Aronson | Will Agate | Jeremy Avellino | Scott Compton | Amy Cornelius | Sonia Dattaray | Alex DeNadai | Bob Ellis | Kit Elsworth | Bradley Gay | Don Haas | Elizabeth Hahn | Mike Heaney | David Hincher | Michelle Jordan | Michael Jouaneh | David Lemons | Justin Lyon | Ariella Maron | Uma Pattarkine | Meenal Raval | Daeen Salam | Christian Saveoz | Maddy Schuh | Brian Smiley | Kristen Suzda | Bahareh van Boekhold | Natalie Walker | Jennifer Wampler | Emily Wei 


What did we accomplish in 2021?

  • GBU hosted “What Federal Leadership on Climate and Housing Means for Philadelphia” in partnership with PACDC to explore the nexus of housing and climate change and how federal priorities could lead to on-the-ground resources in Philadelphia.  

  • GBU provided testimony and written comments to update Philadelphia’s city-owned LEED ordinance 

  • GBU provided comments on a draft study exploring how Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), Philadelphia’s municipally owned natural gas utility, can diversify its business model.  

  • GBU helped translate regulations into program guidance for the new Building Energy Performance Policy (BEPP), passed by City Council in late 2019, requiring all non-residential buildings of 50,000 square feet and larger to either certify high performance or conduct a “tune-up” to improve efficiency in existing building systems.  

  • GBU provided ongoing education for Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing programs launched in Fall 2019 in Philadelphia and New Castle County, DE. C-PACE enables low-cost, long-term funding for construction, renovation, or retrofitting of energy efficient technology or clean energy systems.  

What are we working on in 2022?

  • Ensuring our members are educated and prepared to comply (building owners/managers) and perform tune-ups (CEMs and PEs) with the Building Energy Performance Policy. 
  • Develop a Building Decarbonization policy platform for Philadelphia City Council including: 

    • Residential energy disclosure legislation to provide potential homebuyers and tenants in Philadelphia with utility cost information that can help communicate the true cost to own or rent  

    • Philadelphia’s exemption from PA’s Uniform Construction Code to enable to adoption of the latest building codes 

  • Engage in the upcoming Philadelphia Mayor election to ensure that the candidates will prioritize climate and environmental justice  


What did we accomplish in 2021?

  • GBU participated in PA State Senator Nikil Saval’s Healthy Homes and Repairs working group to provide critical input for legislation to repair, weatherize, and electrify housing, which will be introduced in early 2022 

  • GBU members engaged the PA GreenGov Council to incorporate embodied carbon considerations in their new building and renovation guidelines 

  • GBU analyzed and presented on findings from PHFA’s building performance data that shows how Passive House out-performs market rate builds in energy efficiency  

  • GBU provided comments to support the amendment of PA’s C-PACE program to allow for this financing mechanism to be used for multifamily buildings and include air quality and climate resiliency projects.  

  • GBU continued to advocate for PA's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

  • Participating in Phase IV of Pennsylvania’s Act 129 to ensure that the new rebate and incentive programs maximize energy use reduction from Pennsylvania’s major electric distribution companies . 

What are we working on in 2022?

  • Enable community solar for deployment in Pennsylvania  

  • Plan a Pennsylvania Lobby Day for GBU members to engage elected officials on timely policy priorities such as: 

    • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

    • Natual gas preemption bills 

    • Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards  

    • High Performance Building Incentives 

    • Strengthening PHFA’s QAP for Passive House 


What did we accomplish in 2021?

  • Delaware’s State Senate passed a bill to increase the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 40 percent and to remove the cost cap that limited the proliferation of renewable energy projects. GBU hosted an educational event in December 2020 for state elected officials and advocates on the renewable energy landscape in the state and participated in hearings and stakeholder meetings in the lead up to the bill’s passage.
  • GBU worked closely with New Castle County to explore policy solutions for the county to reach the state mandated goal of “net zero energy capable” by 2025 for residential buildings and 2030 for commercial buildings.    

  • GBU supported the City of Newark’s stretch code 

What are we working on in 2022?

  • Amending the community solar statute to promote the proliferation of community-owned energy generation. 
  • Defining Delaware’s zero net energy capable standard for new construction that is slated to take effect in 2025 for residential and 2030 for commercial buildings to ensure that energy efficiency, electrification, and clean energy are appropriately advanced.   
  • Create a Building Benchmarking policy or voluntary program in Delaware for commercial buildings 

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