SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara is hosting two virtual workshops this month to provide background and context to the proposed code changes that would require most newly constructed buildings to be all-electric.
The sessions are set for noon to 1 p.m. Friday and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17. In addition to the all-electric code language, the proposed changes would avoid adding new natural gas infrastructure. The proposed ordinance would only apply to new buildings, and existing buildings — including additions, remodels, alterations, and attached accessory-dwelling units — would not be affected by the new rules, according to a news release.
The city has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, requiring a multi-pronged approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Almost 40% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use in building, officials said.
Of that, about 20% is from electricity and 19% comes from natural gas. Local electricity supply will soon be carbon free once Santa Barbara Clean Energy launches locally, which will be in October 2021.
“This shift to renewable, carbon-free electricity opens up a pathway to completely decarbonize the building sector,” read a city news release.
The virtual workshops will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.T o register for one of the workshops, visit https://sustainability.santabarbaraca.gov/. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
— Mitchell White