The city of Berkeley could become the first in the nation to officially phase gas out of new buildings as cities across California seek opportunities to curb air and climate pollution caused by burning fossil fuels in homes and buildings.
This week’s vote at a Berkeley City Council meeting is the first of two on the ordinance that would increase the number of homes and workplaces powered by clean energy sources. The second vote will come later in the Summer.
Dozens of local governments across California — including Los Angeles, Carlsbad, Los Angeles County, Santa Monica, San Luis Obispo, San Jose and San Francisco — have passed or are considering options to accelerate zero-emission buildings.
A study by Energy+Environmental Economics shows that transitioning to clean electricity-powered appliances in new construction will allow developers to build more quickly and affordably, while saving homeowners considerable cash. Homes and buildings are responsible for 25% of California’s climate pollution and appliances have been linked to respiratory problems, including asthma in children.
“The price point of these zero-emission homes is actually less than a conventional home. So, it’s really about making a smarter decision,” said C.R. Herro, vice president of innovation for Meritage Homes.
The Berkeley City Council Hearing on Zero-Emission Buildings will be held Tuesday, July 16 at 6pm.