Chicago Mayor Introduces Clean Buildings Ordinance to Phase Out Fossil Fuels in New Construction

February 20, 2024

Mayor Brandon Johnson introduced an ordinance on January 24, 2024, establishing an indoor emissions standard that would eliminate fossil fuel combustion in many new commercial and residential construction and renovation projects. The ordinance essentially prohibits the use of natural gas appliances and energy systems such as gas stoves and boilers in new construction. At the same time, the ordinance contains broad exceptions for both commercial and residential buildings.

New Residential Construction Projects Exempt from These Requirements Includes:
• Construction of additions where the conditioned floor area is less than 10,000 square feet;
• Construction of additions where the conditioned floor area is less than 25% of the pre-addition floor area.

The Following Sources of Combustion are Exempted and Can Still be Stored in Residential Buildings:
• Systems designed for emergency backup power;
• Wood burning stoves for cooking purposes;
• Combustion engines used for transportation purposes (i.e., indoor garages are permitted).

Under the new ordinance, a natural gas energy system would not be allowed if the addition is independent of building systems serving the existing building or exceeding the floor area limits.

The ordinance provides additional exceptions in commercial construction for industrial production, laundries, hospitals, commercial cooking equipment and others.

For more information on what the implications of this new ordinance could mean for your business or personal residence, contact the qualified attorneys at Rock, Fusco & Connelly.