The U.S.’s 10th most populous U.S. city Tuesday moved to ban natural gas in most new residential buildings, beginning next year, Kallanish Energy reports.
The 10-member San Jose, California, city council and Mayor Sam Liccardo voted unanimously to make San Jose the largest U.S. city so far to seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by favoring appliances that run on renewable electricity sources over those powered by natural gas.
The city council adopted new building codes that favor electrification over natural gas. But the vote also required the council to return next month with an ordinance that would go further by banning natural gas in most new homes, Reuters reported.
San Jose’s measure is not an outright ban on natural gas in new buildings such as the one passed by nearby Berkeley, California, earlier this year, because it wouldn’t include high-rise buildings.
But the council voted to study whether to include buildings up to seven stories in coming months.
Cities adopting new building codes or natural gas bans want buildings switched to electricity from a grid powered by renewable energy. Residential and commercial buildings account for roughly 12% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The city’s ban would prohibit natural gas in new single-family and low-rise multi-family buildings beginning in 2020. Other buildings must adhere to strict energy efficiency requirements and install infrastructure to enable switching to electric appliances in the future.
Other large U.S. cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington, are also considering laws that could drastically reduce natural gas usage in buildings.
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