California Takes a Massive Step Toward All-Electric Homes

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Residential houses line a street in Mission near Delores Park as typical San Francisco summer fog rolls in. The race to electrify every house in the U.S. just got a jolt courtesy of California. The most populous state in the country has passed new energy codes that incentivize electric appliances and efficient heating and cooling systems, a move that could wind down the use of fossil fuels in buildings. The codes approved by the California Energy Commission will affect all new residential construction and some businesses, including motels, medical offices, retail and grocery stores, and restaurants among others. The energy codes are updated on three-year cycles. When we last checked in on them in 2018, they were updated with a mandate to include rooftop solar on all new construction (albeit a mandate that was most likely to benefit rich folks ). The new codes are focused on bringing energy-efficient appliances and phasing out gas hookups for homes in the Golden State. “This is the first statewide building code across the country that strongly incentivizes all-electric construction,” said Denise Grab, the manager of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s carbon-free building team. “In fact, in the last code there were actually some […]

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