Chicago's City Council has passed a revised building code requiring stronger energy efficiency and electrification standards for new buildings in order to meet decarbonization goals.

The Chicago Energy Transformation Code, which goes into effect on Nov. 1, includes requirements that residential buildings are built with the wiring and electricity capacity in place to enable a switch to electric-powered appliances and that roofs on low-rise commercial buildings like warehouses are designed to accommodate the installation of solar panels.

The Energy Code also requires placement of windows in new buildings to minimize energy demands due to solar heat gain in the summer; improved insulation to reduce heat loss through the exterior walls of buildings with projecting balconies or parapets; requires indoor plant-growing facilities to use energy-efficient lighting; and prohibits new decorative gas lighting.

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