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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.
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UPDATE (February 10, 2021):

The City of Santa Barbara is moving forward an Energy Code Amendment that would require new buildings to be built all-electric instead of also using natural gas. This new code does not apply to existing buildings or homes, and will have NO affect on existing buildings supplied by natural gas.

These new buildings will help make zero carbon communities possible and will get us a step closer to the City’s goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2035. The next step is to consult with stakeholders and bring back a refined all-electric code for new buildings in the next couple months.

Here are a few ways you can learn more about building electrification and better understand this process:

1. Attend a City of Santa Barbara Building Code Enhancement Webinar

On Friday, February 12 at 12:00 p.m. and again on Wednesday, February 17 at 5:30 p.m. the City is sharing more about the proposed code change and providing an opportunity for you to ask questions. Learn more.

2. Check out CEC’s All-Electric REACH Code FAQ

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about the all-electric amendment, including why it applies only to new building construction in Santa Barbara. Learn more.

3. Read CEC’s Latest Blog on Heat Pumps

We share more about electric heat pumps, including personal stories about why they’re cool. Heat pumps are electrically powered replacements for natural gas furnaces that can also cool buildings (a nice perk in our warming climate!). They can be three to four times more efficient than a natural gas furnace. Some homeowners are voluntarily deciding to retrofit their homes with heat pumps when replacing their furnaces, or going with one for new construction. Learn more.

Based on feedback from the community, City staff will bring forward a Code Amendment with finalized language. This final code will be voted on as soon as March, so stay tuned for that hearing.

Together, we can realize the vision of moving the Santa Barbara region away from fossil fuels in one generation and reaching Carbon Zero.

UPDATE (February 4, 2021):

Have questions about electrification? Please visit CEC’s All-Electric Reach Code FAQ for everything you wanted to know about electrification and the proposed natural gas ban on new construction in Santa Barbara buildings.

UPDATE (January 13, 2021):

We did it! Join us in applauding the City of Santa Barbara for moving forward an Energy Code Amendment that would require new buildings to be built all-electric instead of also using natural gas. After a marathon hearing that ended after 11:00 p.m. last night, the Council voted 7-0 to have staff continue to consult with stakeholders and bring back a refined all-electric code. There was tremendous support from the community – many architects and builders described their recent successful all-electric projects and residents shared their positive experiences of living in all-electric homes.

This important code will help the City move toward all-electric buildings powered by 100% clean power. These new buildings will help make zero carbon communities possible and will get us a step closer to the City’s goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2035. If the code amendment continues to move forward it will:

  • Require that new buildings be built to use the most efficient, clean energy available (i.e. all-electric homes can use heat pumps that can be up to 300% more efficient than gas heaters while being powered by renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels).
  • Lower construction costs for developers and increase access to affordable housing.
  • Reduce monthly utility bills for residents and businesses.
  • Improve indoor air quality and mitigate harmful health impacts like asthma.
  • Expand access to electric heat pumps that can be operated in reverse to provide high efficiency cooling.

Let’s continue to build on this momentum.

You can help by continuing to engage in the process as the City conducts outreach events over the next month or two. Based upon feedback from the community, City staff will bring forward a Code Amendment with finalized language. This final code may be voted on as soon as February, so stay tuned for this next hearing.[/vc_column_text]

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ORIGINAL ALERT

On Tuesday, January 12, the Santa Barbara City Council will consider an Energy Code Amendment that would require new buildings to be built all-electric instead of also using natural gas. If adopted, the City of Santa Barbara would join 40 other California communities that have taken this important step.[/vc_column_text]

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Why support this amendment?

  1. It helps us meet our Carbon Neutrality goals
    • Fossil fuels like natural gas are incompatible with the City’s goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2035.
    • As the City begins offering 100% renewable electricity, all-electric buildings will help us get one step closer to Zero Carbon Communities.
  2. All-electric buildings have more than just climate benefits. They are:
    • Less expensive to construct – they don’t need new gas piping and gas meters, making them more affordable.
    • Healthier – combusting natural gas indoors has been documented to increase air pollution – at times to levels that would be illegal outdoors and that exacerbate health conditions such as asthma.
  3. The Code would apply ONLY to new construction where it is most cost-effective. It would have no impact on any existing homes and will not require retrofitting of existing natural gas appliances.

SoCalGas is fighting back and is, unfortunately, using questionable tactics. Many South Coast residents recently received a misleading spam text, and are now pressuring the City Council to abandon their strong climate goals.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_placement=”middle” gap=”20″ remove_bottom_col_margin=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1610072844813{margin: 10px !important;padding: 20px !important;border: 1px solid #7a7a7a !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text responsive_text=”true” font_family=”Georgia, serif” font_size=”20″]Community Environmental Council and the undersigned community members are calling on Councilmembers to support an Energy Code Amendment to ban natural gas in new construction. This will ensure that the City of Santa Barbara remains a climate leader and stays on track to reach Carbon Neutrality goals.[/vc_column_text]

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Please make the decision to move from gas to electric power in newly constructed businesses and dwellings within Santa Barbara. For all the environmental benefits, it’s important make the switch to electric and at the same time build in solar to power buildings and vehicles.

    Thank you,
    Meagan Comin Tambini

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