Cities vote on code amendments for improved community safety and air quality
Santa Clara County, Calif. – The cities of Monte Sereno and Saratoga voted to adopt local amendments to building codes (known as “Reach Codes”), to advance the construction of healthier, safer, emissions-free buildings. All-electric construction provides the flexibility to benefit from either lower construction costs upfront, or lower utility bills.
On December 3, 2019, Monte Sereno passed a code that encourages the reduction of gas use in new construction. The community’s preference for choice and resiliency led to passing code amendments to includes pre-wiring for future electric appliances, as well as pre-wiring for battery storage. Both measures reduce the cost of any future adoption of batteries, induction stoves and electric heat pumps, and may encourage some builders to build all-electric homes today.
“Monte Sereno believes these reach codes will promote a cleaner, lower-carbon community for all our residents,” said Javed Ellahie, City of Monte Sereno Councilmember and SVCE Board Member.
On December 4, 2019, Saratoga voted to limit the use of gas in new construction. The code will require that newly constructed homes within the city use electricity for space heating and water heating, but still allows gas for cooking if desired. Requiring the use of clean electricity for space and water heating instead of natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions from home energy use by approximately 80 to 90%.
“The City of Saratoga is dedicated to supporting the community’s adoption of electric vehicles,” said Howard Miller, City of Saratoga Mayor and SVCE Chair. ”The new code advances convenient home charging for our community, which already embraces high adoption of clean, electric transportation.”
The actions taken by Monte Sereno and Saratoga favor healthier environments and more cost-effective buildings. Avoiding gas infrastructure in new construction can save homeowners and businesses thousands of dollars in project costs.
Monte Sereno and Saratoga join fellow Santa Clara County cities Morgan Hill, Mountain View and Milpitas in adopting reach codes. Seven additional SVCE member communities are currently considering the establishment of reach codes. Statewide, there are more than 50 communities considering reach codes to address carbon pollution from new construction. Learn more at svcleanenergy.org/reach-codes.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org.
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