More Gas Bans! December 07 2020

Oakland has joined its California counterparts in becoming the 40th community in the state to commit to phasing out gas.

Annie Sciacca reported on December 2, 2020 in the East Bay Times:

Oakland joined dozens of California cities Tuesday in passing an ordinance to ban gas stoves and heaters in new buildings yet to be constructed throughout the city.

The City Council unanimously decided to prohibit newly constructed buildings — both residential and commercial — from connecting to natural gas or propane.

The ordinance, introduced by council members Dan Kalb and Nikki Fortunato Bas and Mayor Libby Schaaf, does not apply to existing buildings and any associated renovations or additions. Neither does it affect attached accessory dwelling units.

Although the law requires new buildings to be equipped with all-electric power sources, it does allow developers to apply for waivers if they believe that isn’t feasible.

Read the full article, "Oakland bans natural gas in most buildings to be constructed."

Thanks to NY-GEO member Bob Wyman for this tip.


Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a proposal to update the city's energy code to ban the use of natural gas in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating.

Gas stoves for cooking will still be allowed, but the proposal requires the new multi-family buildings to have electrical outlets near stoves for future conversions to electric.

Read this article in the Seattle Times for more information.

Here is a Clean Technica article on the San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle announcements.


And in the UK: No Gas in New Builds by 2025. On November 20, 2020 the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reported confusion on when the gas boiler ban in all newly built homes will begin.

In the BBC article, "Climate pledge on gas boilers for 2023 'vanishes'," Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on the 19th that the ban would be advanced to 2023 (from 2025), but then the date disappeared. It looks like it will remain as 2025.

Patrick Collinson wrote in The Guardian (US Edition) "Heat pumps: have a cosy home without warming the planet" on Sat 28 Nov 2020:

Last week the government set a target of 600,000 heat pump installations a year in the UK by 2028 as it launched its "green industrial revolution". It told housebuilders that in only three years' time they will be forbidden from installing gas boilers in new homes and will have to put in a heat pump instead.

This is an extraordinarily fast-paced change; last year of the 1.6m boilers installed in the UK, only about 25,000 were heat pumps and the rest were traditional gas units.

…Existing householders won't be forced to replace their old gas boilers – but if yours is reaching the end of its natural life, the experts say you should be seriously considering a heat pump while the very attractive government financial incentives remain in place.

More on the UK climate initiative from the BBC.

Thanks to Lisa Marshall of HeatSmart Tompkins for this tip.