Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas in new homes

Ah yes, lets make the new houses that will never be built to be even more expensive to operate. It takes about 3 times as much electricity to heat up your stove electrically, and a gas stove costs you half as much to operate. But that doesnt really matter much when you can create a problem and direct taxpaypers’ money to “solve”.

Berkeley has become the first city in the nation to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes.

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously voted to ban gas from new low-rise residential buildings starting Jan. 1.

The natural gas ordinance, introduced by Councilwoman Kate Harrison, requires all new single-family homes, town homes and small apartment buildings to have electric infrastructure. After its passage, Harrison thanked the community and her colleagues “for making Berkeley the first city in California and the United States to prohibit natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.”

“It’s an enormous issue,” Harrison told The Chronicle. “We need to really tackle this. When we think about pollution and climate-change issues, we tend to think about factories and cars, but all buildings are producing greenhouse gas.”

The city will include commercial buildings and larger residential structures as the state moves to develop regulations for those, officials said.

The ordinance allocates $273,341 per year for a two-year staff position in the Building and Safety Division within the city’s Department of Planning and Development. The employee will be responsible for implementing the ban.
The ordinance applies to buildings that have been reviewed by the California Energy Commission and determined to meet state requirements and regulations if they are electric only, said Ben Gould, the chairman of Berkeley’s Community Environmental Advisory Commission.

The way the ordinance is written, the city’s regulations will update as the state commission approves more building models without having to return to the City Council for a vote.

In 2009, the city adopted a Climate Action Plan that aimed to reduce emissions 33% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The plan also commits the city to using 100% renewable electricity by 2035.

The city determined in a report last year that gas-related emissions have increased due to 18% population growth since 2000. The report also noted that the burning of natural gas within city buildings accounted for 27% of Berkeley’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016.

“To put that in context, (the 27%) is equivalent to 20 million gallons of gasoline a year,” Harrison said.

As the city’s population soars, the need for more housing has also increased. From 2014 to 2017, the Planning Department approved building permits for 525 residential units, and 925 built units were approved for occupancy. More housing is expected, particularly with the Adeline Corridor Plan, which calls for the construction of 1,400 units along Adeline Street and a portion of South Shattuck Avenue.

Instead of having natural gas pipes, electric-only buildings install heat pumps and induction cooking, Gould said.

“Think about a refrigerator and how it makes inside your refrigerator cold and blows hot air out of somewhere else,” Gould said. “A heat pump works like that, but in reverse. It takes outside air and emits cold air outside and provides hot air inside. They can also be flipped in reverse and work as an air conditioner.”

As the city’s population soars, the need for more housing has also increased. From 2014 to 2017, the Planning Department approved building permits for 525 residential units, and 925 built units were approved for occupancy. More housing is expected, particularly with the Adeline Corridor Plan, which calls for the construction of 1,400 units along Adeline Street and a portion of South Shattuck Avenue.

Instead of having natural gas pipes, electric-only buildings install heat pumps and induction cooking, Gould said.

“Think about a refrigerator and how it makes inside your refrigerator cold and blows hot air out of somewhere else,” Gould said. “A heat pump works like that, but in reverse. It takes outside air and emits cold air outside and provides hot air inside. They can also be flipped in reverse and work as an air conditioner.”

Enjoy freezing your ass off the first time the electricity fails.

Not trying to be a smartass, but it’s commiefornia, and it has one weather.

Berkley is in N. CA just ENE from SF so they actually have something sort of resembling mild winters. They have little need for A/C but do occasionally need to crank up the heat.

They should ban all the Natural Gas emitted by the City Council. I’ve always had Natural Gas in my home and enjoy the LOW COST .

The Commissars of the Peoples Republic of Berkely Commiefornia are forcing their Leftist Ideals upon all without public discussion. The city flag should have a RED STAR and Hammer and Sickle.

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Wait…wut?

That doesn’t make any sense at all! The US has an abundance of natural gas and there is a ton of existing infrastructure to support the delivery of natural gas to residential and commercial properties.

They are also gonna pay some fat prick a salary of $273k to enforce the Natural Gas ban. The lunatics are running the asylum…

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/berkeley-approves-273341-salary-new-czar-enforce-nations-1st-natural-gas-ban

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Its California … it’s not supposed to make sense.

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Man, talk about government overreach.

Erp… So where does the fuel come from for the electricity? :thinking: :flushed: :joy:

Top Source of Electricity Generation In Every State


It makes sense for whoever’s nephew that is going to fill that cushy $273,341 / year position. Nothing is as permanent as a “temporary” government post.

If you want a real shocker look at how many blue states get their power from out of state generators.

Texas for example provides a great deal of power to CA because of the NIMBY mindset and also supplies a lot of it for the whole of the SW.

Leave it to California to ban the most efficient form of energy for heating and cooking.

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Exactly. You have a net loss of energy when you use NG to produce electricity.

You have another net “transmission loss” when you send that electricity to subscribers.

In fairness, there is a transmission loss with natural gas too.

Fractional but yes there’s always minor seeps and leaks somewhere. No where close though to the normal transmission loss of electricity or all the extra weather related maintenance.

I’m not talking about leaks, I am talking about the energy it takes to pressurize and distribute the gas.

Oh, ok wasn’t considering that as a transmission loss but it is certainly an associated cost.

Not only do gas transmission lines have minor leaks and intentional blow-offs, but they employ two completely different kinds of pumping stations, each of which draws off product to use as fuel to run the pumps.

Some stations are turbine pumps used to maintain the speed of product flow without significant increase in pressure. Others are piston pumps used to jack the line pressure back up to maximum.

I provided all of the electrical work for a piston pumping station at one location for Michigan-Wisconsin Gas Line. The engine/compressor was a common crankshaft Clarke that was about 30 feet long. The drive cylinders were arranged in a V-16.

The compressor cylinders were arranged in a horizontal straight-4 configuration on one side of the engine.

Here is a group of photos from a smaller, but similar V-12 compressor.

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Not applicable to Berkeley since its not North enough, the weather is pretty mild in that area of course there is always cooking, lights, TV, radio etc black and brown outs. Its the dumbest thing for sure. :roll_eyes:

Next up: banning farts and manspreading.