Permits have been issued in 40 cities and counties in California under new building code restrictions for natural gas, state regulators say.
Restrictions vary within each jurisdiction, with exemptions for restaurants, labs, emergency shelters and more, the California Energy Commission (CEC) said. In the longer term, CEC engineers plan to use the permit data to calculate future annual gas demand forecasts.
“They plan to look at orders that primarily involve new construction and how different end-use exclusions affect demand,” spokeswoman Amber Beck told NGI.
Twenty-three local governments have specified all-electric in new residential buildings. Ten calls for preferred electrical installations with additional solar energy installations, including Berkeley, San Francisco and San Jose.
This year through April, Los Gatos, Oakland, Santa Rosa and Sunnyvale in the San Francisco Bay Area have each issued more than 70 permits, according to the CEC.
The San Jose ban will go into effect on August 1. It will affect most construction, with the exception of hospitals and adjoining accessory housing units, as well as some restaurants, manufacturing facilities and facilities with distributed emergency energy resources, according to city spokesperson Cheryl. Wessling.
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San Jose permit staff do not track “all electrical installation” or “no gas installation” in their system, Wessling told NGI. “However, they are working on adding new credentials to the system to allow this type of data.”
The CEC ultimately approves most changes to the local building code. However, the jurisdictions approve each of the permits and maintain statistics. âWe don’t have specific information on what the permits include or the extent of traditional gas piping in new construction,â Beck said.
Six cities in northern California also have zoning ordinances under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which grants the power to make and enforce laws that protect public health, safety, and welfare. The cities using this power were Berkeley, Morgan Hill, Oakland, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and San Jose.
Most ordinances only apply to residential buildings. Yet a dozen Bay Area jurisdictions also have provisions for business developments. Four are in central and southern California: Los Angeles County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.
âThe local jurisdiction determines which buildings their local ordinance will apply to,â Beck said. For example, the City of Albany states that its “requirements create a baseline for new single-family and multi-family residential construction and new non-residential construction, while another applies to the development of new single-family homes, residential housing detached accessories and multi-family buildings up to three floors.
To track permit data, CEC relies on private sector sources from the California Homebuilding Foundation and the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB). The BRIC is a research arm of the California Building Industry Association. It doesn’t follow all-electric licenses, but focuses more on electric vehicle charging equipment, according to research director Joe Sanchez.