Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City is in the process of developing new code language that would require most newly constructed buildings to be all-electric and avoid adding new natural gas infrastructure. The proposed ordinance would only apply to new buildings. Existing buildings, including additions, remodels, alterations, and attached accessory dwelling units would not be affected by the new rules.
 
The City has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, requiring a multi-pronged approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in Santa Barbara come from energy use in buildings. Of that amount, 20% comes from electricity and 19% comes from natural gas. Local electricity supply will soon be carbon free once Santa Barbara Clean Energy launches locally, starting in October of 2021. This shift to renewable, carbon-free electricity opens up a pathway to completely decarbonize the building sector.
 
The City is hosting two virtual workshops to provide background and context to the proposed code change and to answer questions you may have. These sessions will be held Friday, February 12th from 12pm – 1pm and Wednesday, February 17th from 5:30pm-6:30pm. These sessions will also be recorded and available for viewing if you cannot attend the events.
 
To register for one of the Reach Code Workshops please visit: https://sustainability.santabarbaraca.gov/. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Jence Feb 10, 2021 01:38 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

I love my okeef and merrit 1950’s gas stove, my gas wall heater and my early 2000’s gas car. And I still use my rotary dial phone from the 40’s. And my trusty toaster from the 40’s that still has the cloth electric chord. Oh, and my water heater is gas too. God Bless America.

Voice of Reason Feb 10, 2021 10:27 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

So long-term health effects are important now? But we should continue to ignore the long-term health effects of the covid restrictions and school closures when measuring the effectiveness of CA's covid response? (fyi to my anonymous troll, that's whataboutsim).

PitMix Feb 10, 2021 09:55 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Townie, you have no way to quantify the long term effects of the radiation released by Fukushima to support your claim. But absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.

I'll hop onto the nuclear train after you provide a waste repository instead of letting it pile up at sites all across the country. You're going to have to do some convincing- Nevada was the last possible site and they backed out.

SBTownie Feb 10, 2021 09:40 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

This is a great statistic I like to share with people who are terrified of a once in a hundred years nuclear incident that will kill 2 people. We are sacrificing millions of people a year at the altar of fossil fuels, but fools are afraid we might have a once in a century incident (which is becoming increasingly implausible if not impossible given new reactor designs) that might end up with a few people dead. Some might be shocked to learn that exactly zero people died from radiation in the Fukushima disaster.

JoeG Feb 09, 2021 05:49 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Nearly 50% of California electricity is produced using natural gas. So what’s the point of deleting gas from our homes? Further, our last nuke plant in the state (Diablo Cyn) is closing in a few years, removing a power plant that produces at least 9% of the state’s electricity. We frequently experience rolling blackouts due to a lack of available power. Does anyone see a problem with this “green” policy of going electric?

a-1612925411 Feb 09, 2021 06:50 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

The point is that it is easier to mitigate the CO2 outputs from large power plants while you are phasing out natural gas than it is to mitigate the emissions from thousands of homes burning natural gas. Pretty easy concept to grasp if your beliefs are evidence-based.

a-1612910900 Feb 09, 2021 02:48 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Since you obviously did not peruse the linked article, here's a succinct summary of one of the major points (not that it will alter an opinion not based on evidence):

"The good news is that doing this is relatively cheap. The researchers estimate that the net cost of the transformation will be a total of $145 billion by 2050, which works out to be less than one-half percent of the GDP that year. That figure does include the increased savings from electrical heating and vehicles, which offset some of their costs. But it doesn't include the reduced costs from climate change or lower health care spending due to reduced fossil fuel use. These savings will be substantial, and they will almost certainly go well beyond offsetting the cost.

Due to the reduced cost of renewable generation, the authors project that we'll spend less for electricity overall, as well."

Sail380 Feb 11, 2021 02:54 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

I read the article. I also have some real life solar and wind power experience. Having a wind generator and solar panels on my boat for 15 years I know how much energy is captured and put into storage compared to the advertised output. Very large difference between laboratory results and real world results.

a-1613081230 Feb 11, 2021 02:07 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

But analysis of the effects show that they are lesser overall, since carbon fuels spew pollution for their entire operating lives. For wind power, it's a one time hit, and the power is essentially free after that. You really should do more in-depth analysis, rather than just accepting the carbon FUD.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51325101

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200302-how-do-wind-farms-affect-bats-birds-and-other-wildlife

Sail380 Feb 11, 2021 01:48 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

WOW A-1612987497 Feb 10, 2021 12:04 PM. I can tell you read the article with an open mind. Having worked in the Mining/Cement business for several years I can tell you, There is nothing green about the amount of Mining and processing needed for the production of steel or cement. Not to mention the toxic chemical's and resins in the manufacture of the windmill. Its a balance, and your to weighed to one side by not educating yourself about the process. You act like they just pop up and all is OK.

a-1612987497 Feb 10, 2021 12:04 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Yeah, that's definitely a reliable source. Just another shill stoked by big carbon money. They are like the trumper - windmills cause cancer.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/%22Stop_These_Things%22

"This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Stop These Things (STT) is an anti-wind website promoting anecdotes and pseudoscience intended to cast doubt on the effectiveness of wind energy. The website also promotes claims alleging people living in close proximity to wind turbines suffer assorted detrimental health conditions."

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2021 04:24 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

I stand by your inappropriate use. We're talking about switching away from fossil fuels to benefit the environment, and talking about the environmental impact of what we switch to is most certainly on topic. You many now return to your normal name calling retorts (reminds me of a particular ex-politician) rather than contributing to the discussion.

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2021 02:52 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

You've been sold a bill of goods if you think that is what the Green New Deal entails. It continues to amaze me that so many keep believing politicians that waive their arms and say "I will solve all your problems just vote for me!", and people keep voting for them, and the problems remain unaddressed, then the next election they promise it again, meanwhile twenty years of single party rule in CA and we have... failing schools system, some of the highest poverty in the nation, mental health issues, etc. all things that won't be solved by the Green New Deal.

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2021 11:19 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Not true. See the cost to phase out carbon-based fuels ASAP would mean funds would have to diverted from other noble and necessary causes (poverty, mental health, education, health care, etc.) that would as result, not make the world a better place. Balance and smart, incremental changes will get us there.

bosco Feb 09, 2021 09:42 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

I have a modern all electric condo (2400 sf) with a few solar panels and pay a little over ~100$ per month average in electricity. We use the AC/heat liberally and have an electric car. While I do miss having a gas stove, an induction cooktop is easy to get used to and works well. It's great not having to worry about carbon monoxide or leaving the gas on and blowing up the house.

El Barbareno Feb 09, 2021 09:23 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

My cost for both gas and electric is between $50 and $60 in late spring though early fall and $100 to $120 in winter months. My girl friend's all electric s house of equal size was over $300 in January and close to the same for February.

TJTom Feb 09, 2021 08:37 AM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

We already have brownouts and roving blackouts during high electrical demands on the grid. With electrical vehicle additions and proposals such as this all-electric home ordinance it seems that we will either have increased blackouts or end up using fossil fuel to generate electricity outside the limits of Santa Barbara. That is not be overall carbon neutral.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest fossil fuel energy sources and it is reasonable to include it as a balanced component of our utility options. When the power is off, I can still cook on my gas range. (Just use a match to light the burner)

It is true that heat pumps are more efficient than gas furnaces. However, we must consider:
1) Modern gas furnaces are extremely more efficient that older models.
2) The initial cost of a heat pump system is significantly higher than a gas furnace AND the overall life of the heat pump is shorter than the gas furnace. Plus, the yearly maintenance cost for a heat pump is much higher than that of a gas furnace.

I recommend that the city council concentrate on solving the existing problems in our city. They need to consider the secondary effects (and the overall regional effects) of their progressive proposals. Show us the scientific analysis that this plan is viable. Let the green electrical energy supply mature first and prove that there is sufficient electrical energy to power all the new “green” items. Otherwise, this proposal seems similar to jumping out of an airplane and planning on finding a parachute on the way down.

Voice of Reason Feb 09, 2021 01:34 PM
Santa Barbara City to Host Workshops on Building Code Enhancements

Batteries will help but are not the answer if the goal is "green". While costs may come down in the future, they're still very expensive. In addition, to support the production for the massive amount of batteries that would be needed to power everyone's cars and homes a massive amount of rare earth elements would be needed. Mining for these is a very non-green activity, not only extracting it from the ground but processing it in a useable material.

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