Berkeley first city in California to ban natural gas in new buildings

The city of Berkeley will no longer allow natural gas pipes in many new buildings starting Jan. 1, 2020. It’s the first city in California to pass such a law, officials said.

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The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the legislation, put forward by downtown Councilwoman Kate Harrison’s office and council co-sponsors Cheryl Davila, Ben Bartlett and Sophie Hahn.

Public support was also unanimous during 45 minutes of comment from community members and representatives of the University of California’s Office of the President (UCOP), energy giant PG&E and the Sierra Club, among others who spoke.

UCOP Associate Director of Sustainability Ryan Bell told officials UC is on board with the idea and already has a policy, as of July 1, to avoid natural gas space and water heating in most new facilities. The university has all-electric buildings — from labs and dormitories to office space — going up around the state “in all climate zones.”

Read the entire article at Berkeleyside.com