The California Energy Commission (CEC) is to vote tomorrow (Thursday) on whether to approve new building codes in nine cities that hope to move to all-electric new construction to reduce harmful pollution from buildings while improving local health and safety.
Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts, California, courtesy of Lawrence Scarpa
Cities hoping for approval include Berkeley, Brisbane, Healdsburg, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Rosa, and Windsor. In December, the Energy Commission approved measures for Santa Monica, Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo and the county of Marin.
To date, 27 jurisdictions in California have passed electrification policies to prevent further build-out and investment in the state’s aging gas system, with dozens more set to join the building electrification movement - which has spread to other states around the country - in coming months.
A growing body of evidence shows that electrifying California’s homes and buildings is also the most cost-effective, consumer-friendly way to reduce pollution from buildings. Research from E3 (April, 2019) shows California homeowners and developers can expect considerable financial savings from building and living in all-electric homes compared to homes that use gas for heating and cooking.
Also known as “reach codes,” these local ordinances go beyond the requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards and are designed to make low-emission appliance options more affordable. The building codes require CEC approval before taking effect.