San Diego Decarbonizes New Building Development Starting 2023 for Residential and Commercial Development. Zurich starts in 2025.

San Diego released their draft CAP this past month.  Related to building electrification it has:  Strategy 1: Decarbonization of the Built Environment

  • Measure 1.1: Decarbonize Existing Buildings
    • 2030 Target: Phase out 45% of natural gas from existing buildings
    • 2035 Target: Phase out 90% of natural gas from existing buildings
  • Measure 1.2: Decarbonize New Building Development
    • 2030 Target: All-electric reach code starting 2023 at new residential and commercial development
  • Measure 1.3: Decarbonize City Facilities
    • 2030 Target: Phase out natural gas 50% in municipal facilities
    • 2035 Target: Phase out natural gas 100% in municipal facilities

It appears to have elements that address just transition and equity considerations.  VOSDUT  Website: https://www.sdbec.org, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sdbecoalition, Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdbecoalition

Also of potential interest, in a colder climate: Zurich (pop 1.5M) bans gas/oil heating in new buildings 2025 and prohibit installing in existing buildings by 2035. https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/zurich-voters-approve-ban-on-oil-and-gas-heaters/47140666

Tejon Ranch will build 19,300 “zero emission” homes – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com) Dec 1, 2021

One of Southern California’s longest running development battles ended after two decades Wednesday when an environmental group agreed to the construction of a massive “net-zero” greenhouse gas community of 19,300 homes just off Interstate 5 on the southern flanks of the Tehachapi Mountains.  The pact between the Tejon Ranch Co. and the nonprofit Climate Resolve comes amid a severe housing crunch across California and removes perhaps the largest roadblock remaining for the 6,700-acre Centennial project bordering Kern County, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles. The project had been stalled repeatedly by environmental and economic challenges, even as other large developments won approval in one of the last undeveloped sections of Los Angeles County.  The proposal had won final certification two years ago from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, and the company declared that it had been vindicated. But earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff rejected the county’s approval of the developer’s environmental impact report, effectively blocking construction.  Specifically, the judge cited aspects of the environmental review concerning wildfire risk and additional greenhouse gases generated by vehicles. Under terms of the deal expected to be presented to Beckloff later Wednesday, Climate Resolve has agreed to dismiss its legal claim that L.A. County violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved Centennial in 2019. The new development will not include natural gas hookups.  The agreement calls for the installation of nearly 30,000 electric vehicle chargers at residences and commercial businesses. In addition, the plan will include other incentives to support the purchase of 10,500 electric vehicles, school buses and trucks.  Centennial’s original plans required that all residential units and a percentage of commercial buildings be powered by solar energy.

The compromise also requires funding for fire protection and prevention measures, including fire-resilient planning and vegetation management strategies that would also benefit neighboring communities. It also directs the creation of an organization empowered to produce annual progress reports.  “We’re proud of this agreement — it took a lot to hang in there and get it done,” said Bryn Lindblad, deputy director of Climate Resolve. “Now, we’re hoping that it gets people excited about being part of a net-zero carbon community north of downtown.”  Barry Zoeller, spokesman for Tejon Ranch, said some of the costs for the additions to the normal infrastructure for such a project “will have to be passed on to the customer, otherwise it doesn’t make the community economically viable.”  For two decades, Tejon Ranch has pursued development of the proposed community of 57,000 people and 10.1 million square feet of commercial and industrial space.

With that goal in mind, the company brokered an agreement with several major environmental organizations in 2008 to conserve 240,000 acres of undeveloped mountains, grasslands and twisted oaks that are home to such species as California condors and mountain lions. In exchange, the groups agreed not to oppose the company’s development plans.  Beckloff’s ruling earlier this year found that the company’s environmental review failed to buttress its conclusion that the project would not significantly increase the risk of wildfires in a region prone to them. Although the judge found the developer’s on-site analysis to be “sufficient,” he found discussion of surrounding off-site impacts, such as wind-driven embers, to be “problematic.” 

The ruling denied 20 of the 23 claims raised in separate lawsuits filed against Tejon Ranch Co. under the California Environmental Quality Act by Climate Resolve, the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society. The plaintiffs were not among the original coalition of environmental groups who agreed to set aside legal action in exchange for land preservation.  Beckloff dismissed all the claims raised by the center and the Native Plant Society.

But the prevailing issues in Climate Resolve’s lawsuit were rare wins among more than a dozen legal actions filed against Tejon Ranch Co. since 2003 to delay or block development on the remaining 30,000 acres of its holdings.

In addition to Centennial, the company’s proposed developments include Grapevine, a master-planned community in southern Kern County, and Mountain Village, which would include spas, boutique hotels, commercial space and estate homes in southern Kern County.  If approved by Beckloff, Centennial will join the massive Newhall Ranch project in northern Los Angeles County as the most environmentally friendly suburban developments ever planned in California.

After negotiations with environmental groups, the developer of the 21,500-home Newhall Ranch project committed to provide $25 million for conservation efforts. That project also will include 10,000 solar installations and electric vehicle recharging stations in every home, plus more in the surrounding community.  “More than ever, the state desperately needs the 19,333 housing units Centennial will provide, including nearly 3,500 affordable units,” said Gregory Bielli, president and chief executive of Tejon Ranch Co. “At the same time, California needs to achieve its climate goals.”

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See 1984 law article – Energy Bar Association on the impact of indoor air quality on the gas industry.  The gas industry was researching indoor air pollution in the 1970s, so they knew for the last 50 years.  There is a subtle warning to utilities providing weatherization services that sealing up homes causes increased air pollution levels indoors and they may want to consider warning residents about the dangers of gas stoves as part of weatherization services – two generations of kids without taking out the gas stoves.

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The City of Berkeley recently released an RFP for climate equity programs that provide building decarbonization, electric mobility, and/or community access to resilience measures & electrification engagement for low-income Berkeley residents. These programs will support implementation of Berkeley’s Existing Building Electrification Strategy (approved by Berkeley City Council on Nov 30) and the Berkeley Electric Mobility Roadmap. Full detail on the Pilot Climate Equity Fund Program RFP below.  Specification No. 22-11488-C for Pilot Climate Equity Fund Programshttps://www.cityofberkeley.info/RFP/

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RMI just released the report How Air Agencies Can Help End Fossil Fuel Pollution from Buildings.The report describes the significant outdoor air pollution emitted by fossil fuel appliances like gas furnaces, which cause major health harms that fall disproportionately on communities of color. It also gives recommendations for how air agencies can address this pollution and help lead an equitable transition to a zero-emission buildings future. 

The key points of the report are:  

  • Fossil fuel appliances emit 425,000 tons of harmful nitrogen oxide pollution in the US each year—more than oil refineries or gas-fired power plants. 
  • Fossil fuel appliance pollution causes serious health harms, including 6,000 premature deaths and thousands of heart attacks, asthma attacks, and hospitalizations each year. The social costs of the health and climate harms from appliance pollution are over $70 billion per year. 
  • People of color are exposed to twice as much outdoor particle pollution from residential gas appliances as whites. 
  • Electrification of new appliances represents a major opportunity to reduce building pollution. Air agencies can help catalyze an equitable transition to pollution-free buildings by: 
    • Setting zero-emission standards for new appliances in collaboration with impacted communities. 
    • Creating the conditions for equitable implementation of these standards through collaborationinvestments, and thoughtful standard design.  
      • These actions should ensure affordable upfront costs, affordable energy costs, renter protections, and pre-electrification housing upgrades where needed before the zero-emission standards are implemented. 

See Denver in info graphic below (link to report with three standalone graphics)

Also attached, wholesale prices – $2000 delivery of Ephoca PTHP, $2600-$3600 with installation.  Induction stoves are further down (all thanks to Sean Armstrong!)

Coliseum Place by RCD in Oakland. Nearly completed construction.

Sorrel Place by Danco Communities in Arcata. Nearly completed construction. 

1717 University in Berkeley by a private developer. Construction half complete. 

Nyle has announced its Retrofit-Ready (120V, 900W) model, called the E8, is ready for market in a couple of months. It is a small box with a heat pump in it that attaches to the wall, and from it flows hot water to one’s existing storage tank.

Installed in 144 units in Fresno in 2020.

Here’s a lower cost, split heat pump water heater–purchase price is $2500 for 8,000 BTUs/hr, instead of purchase price of $4,000 for 15,400 BTUs/hr for a Sanden. Nyle has just released it, but it’s not actually deliverable for a couple of months. AND it’s 120V, 900W RETROFIT READY!!!! 🙂

a 24″ induction stove, Empava (HQ in Industrial City in the Bay Area) makes one!

For high-end, you have to search for “60cm freestanding induction” (60cm=23.6″) and you’ll find a bunch of Eurasian products, like the Bertazonni and Siemens induction stove below. 

Then there’s high-end 24″ electric resistance ranges that would be almost as good as induction. 🙂

And there are definitely a bunch of 24″ countertop models out there you could adapt into that space, with a stand-alone oven below. That’s how my kitchen works, with a metal rack to hold the range above and the oven below.

In CA, the CPUC is stopping financing and subsidizing new gas connections!