As more cities embrace natural gas-free futures, the US’ most populous state is giving the concept of all-electric homes a big legislative push. California has approved new energy codes that will incentivize electric appliances and efficient heating and cooling systems.
Approved by the California Energy Commission, the codes will mandate that all new construction be electric-ready, meaning they include all the wiring necessary to install electric appliances. New regulations will also require that homes that do install gas appliances have enhanced ventilation systems to avoid the indoor air pollution hazards of gas stoves. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the codes now require that heat pumps be the baseline standard for air and water heating, using ground or outdoor air temperatures to regulate indoor temperatures.
These updated codes are on their way to the state’s Building Standards Commission and will go into effect in 2023 once approved. They will apply to not only most new homes and businesses but also “substantial renovations.” Applying energy-saving and air quality-promoting regulations to building codes is a highly effective way to reduce fossil fuel dependence as it means constructing more sustainable homes and businesses for a whole future generation.