Code amendments advance electrification in new home construction
Santa Clara County, Calif. – The City of Campbell and the Town of Los Altos Hills voted in February to advance the construction of healthier, safer and emissions-free buildings by adopting local amendments to the State Building Code (known as establishing “reach codes”).
The amendments for both jurisdictions require the use of electricity only for space and water heating in new residential construction, including detached accessory dwelling units. Both allow the use of gas for cooking, fireplaces and clothes-drying appliances. The advancement of electricity as a primary fuel source in homes is important to reducing cities’ greenhouse gas output.
The Campbell City Council passed their reach code unanimously on Feb. 18.
“After hearing input from the professionals and our community, the City is taking a first step towards reducing the use of gas in new homes,” said Campbell Mayor Susan Landry, who is also an alternate director on the SVCE board.
Campbell Vice Mayor and SVCE board member Liz Gibbons noted the importance of taking action to fight climate change.
“We need to figure out how we keep moving toward a carbon-free goal,” she said. “The answer is housing. Our communities need housing, making it an important opportunity for us to impact the climate crisis. These changes we’ve made now will make a difference to future generations.”
On Feb. 20, the City Council of Los Altos Hills passed their reach code on a 4-1 vote.
“The Town of Los Altos Hills has taken a bold step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said George Tyson, Los Altos Hills councilmember and SVCE board member. “Climate change is a crisis, and we need to do something about it. This is a step in the right direction.”
In order to meet the State’s carbon reduction goals, cities recognize that more must be done to stop pollution from transportation and buildings. Los Altos Hills and Campbell join seven other SVCE member communities that have passed reach codes. Statewide, there are more than 50 communities considering reach codes to address carbon pollution from new construction.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org.
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