Beginning next year, all new residential and commercial construction in Marin must be all electric.

Marin County supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an ordinance mandating the change effective Jan. 1. The supervisors voiced support for the move in October.

The ordinance also includes provisions designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the use of natural gas. These include tougher energy efficiency requirements for additions, alterations and remodels, and increased access to electric vehicle charging stations for people living in multifamily housing.

Natural gas accounted for 26% of Marin’s countywide greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, second only to transportation, which caused 56% of the county’s emissions.

The supervisors’ decision was supported by nearly all of the members of the public who commented during Tuesday’s meeting.

“Building electrification and electric vehicle readiness are essential to Marin’s transition off fossil fuels,” said Bill Carney, speaking as a member of MarinCAN. Formerly known as Drawdown: Marin, MarinCAN is a new nonprofit launched earlier this year to address climate change through collective action.

Annika Osborn, outreach director for Cool the Earth, said, “We appreciate the county’s work to improve green building requirements, particularly for electric vehicle infrastructure for both new buildings and renovations.”

Sue Saunders, a member of the San Anselmo Climate Action Commission, said, “If we do not dramatically reduce our dependence on methane, we have no chance of avoiding the catastrophic consequences of climate change. What you are voting on today is the future not only for us but for our children and grandchildren.”

The stricter rules for additions, alterations and remodels apply to single-family homes over 750 square feet. Owners will be required to implement additional energy efficiency and electrifications beyond state code, however, they will be given options for doing so. They will be allowed to select from a menu of energy efficiency and electrification measures.

The county is not contemplating all-electric requirements for renovations or remodels of existing buildings at this time, nor does it intend to require appliance swaps at the time of replacement, otherwise known as “time of burnout.”

But Ken Strong, a member of the Marin Conservation League’s climate action working group, said, “We would certainly like to see the county move forward next year and look at how we can start incentivizing people to replace existing gas appliances when it is time.”

The county’s ordinance also surpasses state requirements by requiring that multifamily housing residents be provided with access to electric vehicle charging stations.

Marin …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Marin County mandates all-electric new residential and commercial construction

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