The August 8, 2019 draft Ithaca Energy Code Supplement is now being circulated for public comment. Your comments are respectfully requested prior to September 30, 2019.

Submit comments to Nick Goldsmith, Sustainability Coordinator, through September 30, 2019 and/or share your comments at a public meeting (see Upcoming Meetings, below).


The City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca have been working on a Green Building Policy (GBP) since 2017. In May 2018 the Town Board and the City Common Council adopted the GBP Report, which contained recommendations for code requirements that would substantially reduce carbon emissions in all new buildings, while emphasizing and supporting affordability.

Since then, a working group made up of City of Ithaca and Town of Ithaca elected officials, senior staff, and other staff members, in conjunction with consultants Stream Collaborative and Taitem Engineering, have worked to add the necessary details to the GBP report recommendations. A list of working group members and consultant names can be found on the People page.

The product is the draft Ithaca Energy Code Supplement, dated August 8, 2019. This is meant to be an easy-to-understand document that contains all of the content that will be in the final Energy Code Supplement, but is formatted for ease of discussion and editing.

The Working Group is asking for permission to circulate the draft Ithaca Energy Code Supplement for public comment. Staff and consultants will incorporate public feedback and work with City and Town committees and departments to more formally codify the Code Supplement before bringing it back to municipal boards for consideration of adoption. The goal is to maintain one unified regulation that covers both the Town and the City. Below is a rough timeline for adopting the code. For additional meeting details, see the Upcoming Meetings section, below.

- City Planning and Economic Development Committee (8/14) – Approval for circulation was granted
- Town Codes & Ordinances Committee (8/14) - Gave introduction to GBP/Code Supplement
- Town Board (9/9) – Discuss draft Code Supplement
- Start public outreach

- Public outreach
- Public meetings (dates below)
- Codification with City Attorneys and Building Division, Town C&O Committee

- Finish codification
- City PEDC and Town C&O Committees consider codified draft

- Town Board and Common Council consider adoption of final legislation

More about the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement

The Energy Code Supplement contains requirements to substantially reduce GHG emissions in all new buildings, while emphasizing affordability. The Code will require all new buildings to be constructed to produce 40% fewer GHG emissions than New York State code requires, and will ramp down to net-zero buildings by 2030. There are two compliance paths. The "Easy Path" is a point system where the builder chooses from a menu of options to achieve six points. Using the Easy Path, it is possible to comply with the mandate using only "affordability-driven energy efficiency measures" that would keep construction costs the same or lower, which we are very excited about. We are not aware of other municipal requirements that offer this. The second method of compliance is a "Whole Building Path" that allows the use of well-known third party programs such as LEED or a HERS rating (with specific levels required to meet the 40% GHG reduction). One other item of note is that the point system highly incentivizes fossil-fuel-free development. For example many points are awarded for the use of heat pumps, which operate on electricity as opposed to natural gas.

Upcoming Meetings

All meetings are open to the public. Many have time set aside for verbal comments from any interested community members. You do not have to be a Town/City resident to speak.

Town of Ithaca Town Board
Monday, September 9
Discuss Draft Ithaca Energy Code Supplement
Agenda will be available for download here around September 4.

Public Meeting 1
Thursday, September 12, 6-7:30pm
Ithaca Town Hall, 215 North Tioga Street
This is a dedicated meeting to share information and solicit comments.
Download media release here

Public Meeting 2
Monday, September 16, 11:30am-1:00pm
Ithaca Town Hall, 215 North Tioga Street
This is a dedicated meeting to share information and solicit comments.
Download media release here

City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board
Tuesday, September 24, 6pm
Agenda will be available for download here.

Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
Friday, September 27, 9am
Tompkins County Public Library