Policy Solution

Thermal comfort policies

Mandate

Overview:

Summary: Maximum allowable indoor temperatures for buildings can increase awareness and encourage property managers to adjust cooling standards to avoid excessive cooling, reduce energy loads, and as a result reduce the associated waste heat.

Implementation: Establish maximum allowable indoor temperatures for buildings.

Considerations for Use: This policy could build on or add to existing minimum indoor temperature, energy, or other efficiency standards for interior conditions.

  • Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).

    Introducing new or updated zoning/codesIncludes codes, zoning requirements or by-laws pertaining to urban planning and building construction activity.
    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
    Planning/Policy
  • Sectors:
    Buildings,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents; Property owners
  • Phase of Impact:
    Risk reduction and mitigation
  • Metrics:
    Energy savings

Implementation:

  • Intervention Scale:
    City
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    Array
  • Funding Sources:
    Private investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    Medium; High

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    Low
  • Public Good:
    Low
  • GHG Reduction:
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Save on utilities