On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo City Council approved the Clean Energy Choice Program for New Buildings. The program encourages clean, efficient, and cost effective all-electric new buildings through incentives and local amendments to the California Energy Code requiring new buildings with natural gas to be more efficient.
The program is part of the work plan identified in the Climate Action Major City Goal and is expected to help the community achieve its climate action goals. The program is also cost effective due to rapid advances in electric appliance technology and statewide energy efficiency requirements. All-electric new buildings can be cheaper to build and operate than conventional buildings.
“The City of San Luis Obispo is proud to be a leader in this groundbreaking program, which is just one of many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support future focused and cost-effective buildings,” said Michael Codron, Director of Community Development. “We will continue our efforts to reduce pollution and increase affordability and enhance the quality of life for our community members.”
The Clean Energy Choice Program for New Buildings only applies to new buildings. Existing buildings with natural gas appliances will not be affected, even if that building is sold, renovated, or changes use. For community members who would like to transition to clean energy, in their home or business, the City will develop a program in 2021 to support voluntary rooftop solar and appliance retrofit projects.
“We worked in partnership with and received considerable and meaningful input from local developers, electricians, architects, builders, designers, technical consultants, the California Energy Commission, peer cities, utility partners, and community members,” said Codron. “We are taking a measured and phased approach to encourage all-electric buildings and this will deliver many benefits to our community.”
Pending final Council adoption on July 7 and California Energy Commission approval, the program would go into effect on September 1, 2020. More information about the Clean Energy Choice Program for New Buildings, including program applicability and exemptions, is available at slocity.org/cleanenergychoice.
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