All electric new building construction is now the future of Santa Barbara!
We are excited to share that last week, Santa Barbara City Council and Mayor Cathy Murillo voted unanimously to enact a new building ordinance prohibiting natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings (with a few exceptions where there isn’t yet a viable electric alternative to gas). This vote is a crucial step for Santa Barbara to take toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our 2035 carbon neutrality goal.
The Academy was happy to support and observe the efforts of many key players to this vote.
We applaud the efforts of the community members and organizations for pushing this item forward, and especially recognize the leadership exhibited by Santa Barbara’s Sierra Club.
Santa Barbara Independent reports: “Many speakers from Sierra Club and a host of organizations, however, testified in favor of the proposal. They schooled councilmembers on the perils of natural gas; it contains methane which is 80 times worse than carbon dioxide in terms of climate change; it increases the risk of asthma for young kids in homes heated with natural gas; it’s produced increasingly by fracking, a technology that poses contamination risks for the groundwater basins.”
Removing natural gas infrastructure from new construction reduces construction costs and avoids the dangerous impact of using fossil fuels indoors. Studies reported by the Santa Barbara Independent also show that gas stoves expose millions of people to levels of air pollution in their homes “that would be illegal outdoors under national air quality standards.”
Additionally, pairing all-electric buildings with 100% renewable energy from the upcoming Santa Barbara Community Choice Energy program is a huge step toward decarbonization. There is much more to do, but we are happy to celebrate the wins when we can!
This important win for Santa Barbara shows that there is more that we can do together to keep the momentum going for transitioning away from natural gas. We hope that our city’s recent action can serve as an example for other communities to follow.