News

Contra Costa supes mandate electricity in new construction

Andersen sole vote against banning natural gas in new homes, buildings

New homes and buildings in unincorporated Contra Costa County will be powered by electricity instead of natural gas, the county Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.

The vote was 4-1, with District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen saying many of her constituents believe the ordinance is an overreach. She also said she has her own concerns.

"I'm concerned about the state of California's ability to provide sufficient clean electricity that really could power the entire state, as there seems to be this shift," Andersen said. "And we saw such a loss of hydroelectric power in the drought, in the wake of wildfires, so I really think it's a little premature to be jumping this far."

The ordinance will prohibit the installation of natural gas piping in all new residential buildings and hotels, offices, and retail buildings in unincorporated parts of the county.

Board members have pointed out there are new state rules mandating solar power for most new development. The county ordinance will affect unincorporated areas where the California Energy Commission has accepted studies demonstrating the cost effectiveness of the new requirements.

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The 2019 California Energy Code allows local jurisdictions to establish stricter building codes if that local authority finds it necessary because of local climate, geological, topographical, or environmental conditions.

In September 2020, Contra Costa adopted a climate emergency resolution, saying the county should require electricity over gas in new construction. A county staff report in August said, "The built environment is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the county and in California."

The ordinance won't apply to future developments already approved before the new law is enacted. The ordinance also won't prohibit emergency backup power sources, like generators, that run on fossil fuel sources.

The new law would have to be approved by the California Energy Commission before being enacted. Staff recommended the county put the new ordinance in effect July 1.

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Contra Costa supes mandate electricity in new construction

Andersen sole vote against banning natural gas in new homes, buildings

by Tony Hicks / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Tue, Jan 18, 2022, 7:29 pm

New homes and buildings in unincorporated Contra Costa County will be powered by electricity instead of natural gas, the county Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.

The vote was 4-1, with District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen saying many of her constituents believe the ordinance is an overreach. She also said she has her own concerns.

"I'm concerned about the state of California's ability to provide sufficient clean electricity that really could power the entire state, as there seems to be this shift," Andersen said. "And we saw such a loss of hydroelectric power in the drought, in the wake of wildfires, so I really think it's a little premature to be jumping this far."

The ordinance will prohibit the installation of natural gas piping in all new residential buildings and hotels, offices, and retail buildings in unincorporated parts of the county.

Board members have pointed out there are new state rules mandating solar power for most new development. The county ordinance will affect unincorporated areas where the California Energy Commission has accepted studies demonstrating the cost effectiveness of the new requirements.

The 2019 California Energy Code allows local jurisdictions to establish stricter building codes if that local authority finds it necessary because of local climate, geological, topographical, or environmental conditions.

In September 2020, Contra Costa adopted a climate emergency resolution, saying the county should require electricity over gas in new construction. A county staff report in August said, "The built environment is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the county and in California."

The ordinance won't apply to future developments already approved before the new law is enacted. The ordinance also won't prohibit emergency backup power sources, like generators, that run on fossil fuel sources.

The new law would have to be approved by the California Energy Commission before being enacted. Staff recommended the county put the new ordinance in effect July 1.

Comments

MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 19, 2022 at 7:17 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jan 19, 2022 at 7:17 am

"I'm concerned about the state of California's ability to provide sufficient clean electricity that really could power the entire state, as there seems to be this shift," Andersen said."

Congratulations to a voice of reality/sanity (Andersen) for raising this issue.

The state can't provide sufficient amounts - but it doesn't matter. Expect to be told by the "world is coming to an end" and "climate emergency" crowd (most of the politicians in the state) that we will just have to pay more, use less, and/or do without (rolling blackouts). Wind and solar are unreliable energy sources despite people feeling good about using them. There is nothing "good" whatsoever about getting rid of an abundant, clean, and reliable one.


Erlinda
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Jan 31, 2022 at 3:50 pm
Erlinda , Danbury Park
Registered user
on Jan 31, 2022 at 3:50 pm

What about asking people to use natural energy from the sun during summer heat days to hang up their clothes after washing in the sun to save electricity and water, do not get stock in traffic during 100 degrees f in summer to put more heat out there and consume more water. Use electricity also consume water, plus air conditioners blows heat during warm or hot days. Added more heat to the summer.


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