Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City Council has adopted an ordinance that prohibits the installation of natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings as part of its effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Existing buildings are generally not impacted by this change. Certain exemptions to the ordinance are allowed for restaurants, clean rooms, laboratories and projects where electrification is not feasible.

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Byzantium Aug 08, 2021 09:47 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

City Hall perks, pensions and ever costly benefits, longevity bonuses and salaries are the drivers "development". The city must grow new tax payers, property taxes must increase with ever-increasing home prices, or else we fall behind just by standing still. What city council has ever look at this primary "development" trigger directly in the eye? This is why it takes new taxes upon old taxes to even try to get ahead of the city's long neglected infrastructure repair and maintenance needs. Until the city takes those infrastructure tax dollars and spends them on more social agenda problems. We need a very deep change in city hall and city administration. Voters do need to grasp we area at a crisis tipping point.

Transparent Aug 08, 2021 07:01 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

We need to work on getting our grid is predominantly green (which it isn't). Changes like this (or getting folks to EVs) don't amount to much if we don't.

The greening of the grid is a suuuper hard,.. we're only at the foot of the mountain, and we need to work our a**** off to get up there fast. And I don't just mean political persuasion, because that doesn't solve questions of technology and economy and cooperation.

Channelfog Aug 07, 2021 07:55 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Houser- Indoor fireplaces are already banned in many municipalities and that ban will certainly spread. There are outdoor firepit designs that incorporate a metal barrel with holes around the top. The metal heats the air and it flows through said holes, into the flame just below the rim, causing a far more efficient and less smoky outdoor fire. So much nicer to sit around or to have in a neighboring yard. Of course people have to know to burn only dry wood and no trash.......

SBZZ Aug 06, 2021 08:02 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. Residential usage of natural gas is such a small part of our County carbon footprint and yet getting rid of it will have a big impact on us - putting all the eggs in one electrical basket. Keep moving forward full speed with all of the green technologies but keep natural gas until we are certain the green systems can fully sustain us.

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 06, 2021 07:29 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

The problem is that our small city government is an agency that fails at every turn, on everything its tasked with, somehow thinks its duty is to "engineer" our future and inject itself deep into our homes, our lives. They have long since forgotten why they are there and that their only task is to manage the day to day needs of the city and assure its safety and security. That's why these nincompoops continue to spend time and energy on these superfluous policies and acts. These people are super confused about their worth and have long since lost site of their actual duty. They are not elected or hired to direct our lives, they are hired and elected to manage the city's operations, finances and safety. Period. They are not our leaders, they are our representatives. They work for us, not the other way around.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 06, 2021 06:42 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

CA. Can’t keep up w the electric demand. They “ask” you don’t use appliances between 4/9pm.
But they’re going to make you consume electricity between 4/9 by requiring electric cooking. Next are electric water heaters.

Am I missing something? Demand already exceeds supply.

Channelfog Aug 06, 2021 03:58 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Passionate cooks can have their gas ranges converted to propane (tank) though I prefer the precise control of natural gas over propane. With any luck the house can be designed so that the tank can sit outside right behind the range so that only a small flexible propane line is needed. In much of the world, the tank sits next to the stove or under a counter! (NOT code, but surprisingly safe given statistics) The change to all electric will be a bummer for those who cannot afford solar panels and/or back-up generators. Edison is very unreliable and I doubt they'll get their ST.
For space heating, local combustion is FAR more efficient than remote electric power generation so we burn less gas, creating less C02.

JB86 Aug 06, 2021 12:49 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Let's see; last gas bill was $12.77, electric was $112. An all-electric neighbor's electric bill was over $200. How can this possibly be a good deal for consumers? Add the cost of all-electric to new construction, say conservatively, $20K, this is really gonna help affordability of new housing, right?
Then there is the matter of personal preference - cooking with gas. Is this a progressive thing, taking that away? I know folks who would go to propane, or wood, rather than electric for cooking.

a-1628292767 Aug 06, 2021 04:32 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Apparently electric induction cooktops are well liked. Very different from the coil style electric cooktops. If I had to convert to electric cooking, I’d look into induction. But I’d need to buy new pots and pans, because they only work with pans with ferrous metal.

NotReallyDave Aug 05, 2021 07:59 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

No, the City employees are really smart. They need to develop income streams for the future in order to cover their wages, pensions, and benefits. They will work a deal with the Electric Company to take over management of citizen electric accounts and be the middleman, for a fee , of course. You just watch.

Basicinfo805 Aug 05, 2021 05:47 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Man, how about mandating water conservation then with new development?? Stuff like grey water systems, rainwater catchments, etc. Water is going to be the first thing to ‘hit the fan’. Seems like a no-brainer, but nope - let’s keep building everywhere and the water will come from…somewhere else.

a-1628221903 Aug 05, 2021 08:51 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Edney, I really want to read more. Cite please?
(Yes, I'll search it online.)

And Edney & Basic, have you taken such steps? At least pipe your gutters to a tree bed, if you're homeowners? Or discussed the same with your landlords?
Or researched installing solar power?

a-1628221645 Aug 05, 2021 08:47 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Edney, I appreciate the info.
But it only addresses rain flow.

It would be great if grey water was addressed in new development, Basic. My laundry is what makes my front yard look good, and it's already drought resistant -- though I have a gorgeous Gingko tree, going on 30 years old, that I'd to great lengths for.
I also have drip irrigation and rain collection tanks.
I just wish more people did the easy obvious things to aid their plants in times of constant drought.
Though re: grey water, people MUST use certain soaps/detergents. I guess we'd know who didn't by how their plants look.

edney Aug 05, 2021 07:22 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Already done. Years ago now.
As of now, in new construction, all of the water from a 1 inch rain must be contained onsite.
That number is going to a 2" rain soon. Hard surfaces must be permeable with rock underneath to a depth per soil type.
Flow wells and septic type systems for rainwater/drainwater are per code and must move drain water into water table.

If space allows, the code require rainwater catchment basins, which are multiple deeply dug ponds with deeply stacked round rock bottoms. All drain water is directed into pipes and into the pond system where it fills up pond to pond to saturation and then passing onto the next pond.

The reason most people don't know about this is because it is a requirement for new homes, developments or large remodels and the only people who can afford to build on that scale are rich enough to be soaked by county and city. Laugh at them and gloat, but the high cost of all new housing is directly related to this type of regulation

Metternacht Aug 05, 2021 04:28 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

the City should now focus on banning dihydrogen monoxide in new building also. This chemical causes many deaths every year and should be banned. Come on City Council take a stand for the safety of our city. Ban dihydrogen monoxide now.

Chip of SB Aug 05, 2021 01:58 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

This is a big win for the natural gas industry. Instead of using gas to generate heat where it is needed with our existing infrastructure, we can use gas to make heat far away, turn that heat into electricity, and then transmit the power, then turn the electricity back into heat. With the losses associated with each step of the process this will significantly increase the amount of natural gas that is burned to run a water heater, stove, or furnace.

a-1628403917 Aug 07, 2021 11:25 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Lifecycle CO2 of solar:

Relevant quote:

"Overall, all PV technologies generate far less life-cycle air emissions per GWh than conventional fossil-fuel- based electricity generation technologies. At least 89% of
air emissions associated with electricity generation could be prevented if electricity from photovoltaics displaces electricity from the grid."

a-1628401740 Aug 07, 2021 10:49 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Big carbon BS, and you know it. Nuclear will never be viable until fusion comes along, based on both operating costs and waste containment considerations. With the CO2 levels we have now, and the time frame we have to reduce it, there's no way trees can handle it. As it is now, we'll have to go to direct capture/sequestration to save our butts.

KevinSB Aug 07, 2021 02:25 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

That isn’t whataboutism. Try to learn the definition. And I wasn't raising monetary cost which should be obvious to anyone who cares about the issue. Lifecycle CO2 cost calculations ask us to question whether solar really lower temperatures if we switch to it or not. The answer is no.
4th gen thorium and molten salt Nuclear is a far better approach to clean abundant energy. Yet California will have zero nuclear soon. How will California ever sustain all its cars switch to EVs?
Planting trees is the cheapest and easiest and most beneficial way to lower CO2. I direct You to white paper.

KevinSB Aug 06, 2021 11:48 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Ever investigate the lifecycle CO2 of solar? Making the panels, shipping them from China, diesel trucks hauling them and the workers all driving to install them? Don’t forget the inverters and trenching of cable and that they won’t produce much 1/3 of the days and of course never at night on cloudy days. Then they degrade year after year and can’t be recycled. A pure solar roof might make sense but otherwise it’s not having a positive impact at all.

a-1628317267 Aug 06, 2021 11:21 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Or, you get a proper system with an automatic cutoff from the grid, and a storage battery, that will power your house. Yes, it works wonderfully in a power outage. No need to belch diesel particulates and CO2.

Sail380 Aug 06, 2021 10:49 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Battery backup was not allowed when I got my system.

From a current solar panel provider.
So the quick answer to the question of whether or not solar panels will work during a power outage is no. Solar panels will not be able to provide your home or business with electricity during a power outage. There are, however, two exceptions to this: your system is equipped with energy storage, or you forgo the benefits of grid-tied solar and opt for an off-grid system.

a-1628289628 Aug 06, 2021 03:40 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

That just means you didn't get the right kind of installation, nor battery backup. Your fault, not solar energy's fault.

Sail380 Aug 06, 2021 03:27 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

I have had solar for over 10 years. Here are some fun facts. Besides the well known fact it doesn't work when its dark, it also doesn't work during a power outage even if its during the day. Systems are designed to automatically disconnect the panels from the power lines during an outage. Done to reduce the chance of electrocuting a service worker by back feeding the grid. Not much of a plan B. During the Northridge earthquake, our power was out for days, natural gas kept us cooking and supplied hot water and could have heated the house if needed. How soon some forget!!!

a-1628281853 Aug 06, 2021 01:30 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

"Energy diversity" is the greenwashing term being used by Big Carbon, in particular natural gas producers, to seduce the simple-minded. Same thing with "cleaner burning".

jak Aug 06, 2021 06:59 AM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Chip and Sail raise some very important points. Given how unreliable the electric supply is becoming in much of the state, why curtail individual energy diversity? In the event of an extended outage people will need to cook with something other than electricity. As gas is phased out as an option it will eventually become unavailable or unfeasible for existing customers. That means that you may not be able to count on running across the street to cook with a neighbor. That means other “alternative fuels” will come into play like wood and charcoal which will inevitably have some undesirable health and environmental consequences and will occasionally lead to tragedy.

Edney, I’ve never met your wife and I like her already.

a-1628221269 Aug 05, 2021 08:41 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

I lived with electric stoves for over 30 years. Cooks adjust. It did not change my cooking or the taste of the final dishes. One adjusts.

a-1628221077 Aug 05, 2021 08:37 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

My main appliances are gas; house built in 1963 or so. I had solar installed. Large savings and knowing I did the right thing. I'll admit, I'm owned by the company, as I went with a Power Purchase Agreement. I never paid a cent. Still glad I did so.

edney Aug 05, 2021 07:10 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Ummmm. We do that now to charge our electric vehicles.
My wife won't cook on an electric stove. When I met her she has a 4 burner propane stove set on top of her electric range

OpossumBoy Aug 05, 2021 04:37 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

PITMIX, I agree: Solar is the way to go. I’d love to see increasing numbers of buildings in SB with solar panels on the roof.

OpossumBoy Aug 05, 2021 04:29 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Chip, you’re totally correct. And I want to add that the losses in transmission lines are significant. The losses are proportional to the current in the lines, which is why the voltage is jacked way up for long distance transmission. The lines crossing east-west across our foothills are 66 kV lines. That’s actually a fairly low voltage for long distance transmission.

Not using natural gas locally does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions from power production in California. Quite the contrary: It increases those emissions, because increased use of electric power locally increases the already significant transmission losses.

And what the heck does our City Council mean by “achieve carbon neutrality?” Sounds like they had input from Edison shills in reaching this decision.

Chip of SB Aug 05, 2021 04:28 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

3:03, we are talking about the city of Santa Barbara here. Have you looked at the city of Santa Barbara lately? I think stupid might be a generous way to describe our city’s policies.

PitMix Aug 05, 2021 04:23 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Less gas used locally, less gas storage, less gas leaks, less greenhouse gases. If I go electric, I will definitely install solar.

Hard to see the downside of any of this.

Sail380 Aug 05, 2021 03:11 PM
Natural Gas Prohibition for New Buildings

Its a win for us locally CHIP. Now the pollution is in someone else's backyard. As a bonus we are getting all the benefits of electricity with no fallback if the system fails. Does anyone remember Texas last winter? No diversity on energy no plan B.


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