Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to ban natural gas connections in new buildings

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday night, Berkeley became the first city in the U.S. to ban natural gas connections in new buildings. Beginning in 2020, all new buildings in Berkeley, including commercial and residential construction, will be all-electric, with certain temporary exemptions for specific types of building systems. Existing buildings will not be affected.

CEC Approves $95 Million Plan for Critical Clean Transportation Investments

The California Energy Commission (CEC) today approved a $95 million plan for critical clean transportation investments to expedite the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and help the state reach its climate, air quality, and other goals. The plan also focuses on closing an anticipated gap in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and increasing program benefits to disadvantaged communities.

The plan calls for:

Electrification Mandates and Slow Housing Growth

An article posted on U.C. Berkeley's Energy Institute at Haas blog today highlights the fact that while building electrification mandates are becoming more widespread, policies that only apply to new buildings will be limited in their near-term impact, given the extremely slow rate of new construction, particularly in the Bay Area. This issue is compounded by COVID-19, which has slowed housing starts down by 30% in the US.