A city ordinance in Berkeley now bans natural gas in new low-rise residential buildings, but not other types of buildings — yet. Credit: Daniel Ramirez/CC-BY-2.0 Berkeley has become the first city in the United States to ban the use of natural gas in new low-rise buildings, and it isn’t the only California community looking for ways to shift its buildings away from burning fossil fuels. Cities and towns across the state are considering measures to encourage developers to use only electric appliances in new buildings—and skip installing natural gas lines for stoves, furnaces and water heaters. Ken Davies, interim deputy director of Climate Smart San Jose, a unit within the city of San Jose’s environmental services department, estimates about 60 cities and towns across the state—including San Jose—are considering building code measures to promote electric appliances as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They might not go as far as Berkeley, but they’re trying to address the same concerns. Our stories. Your inbox. Every weekend. Burning natural gas emits carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. On top of that, the methane in natural gas is a short-lived climate pollutant that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide […]


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