Reach Codes Under Consideration for a Greener Redwood City

What Are Reach Codes?

  • Be at least as stringent as the statewide code;
  • Be cost-effective;
  • Must be approved by the California Energy Commission; and,
  • Be re-approved with each Energy Code update.

Why Are They Needed?

  • Senate Bill 32 (2016) — mandates a 40% reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
  • Senate Bill 100 (2018) — mandates 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045
  • Government Executive Order B-55–18 (2018) — mandates carbon neutrality by 2045, and achieve and maintain net negative emissions thereafter
  • Assembly Bill 3232 (2019) — mandates a 40% GHG reduction in buildings by 2030
  • Senate Bill 1477 (2019) — Building Initiative for Low Emissions Development (BUILD) program, which incentivizes near-zero emissions technologies in new residential buildings and the Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) initiative, which supports low-emission space and water heaters in new and existing residential buildings

What is Included in Redwood City’s proposed Reach Codes?

What are the Exceptions?

  • Hospitals
  • Science labs
  • Restaurants/catering business kitchens
  • Factories and hazardous material facilities
  • Projects that have previously approved land use entitlements
  • Affordable housing projects
  • Accessory Dwelling Units
  • Other instances in which an applicant can submit a specific request for an exception because they feel circumstances exist that make it infeasible for their building to be an all-electric building
  • Allowing residential buildings to contain non-electric fireplaces and cooking appliances
  • Requiring Emergency Centers to be all-electric
  • Allowing high-rise residential buildings to contain non-electric water-heating systems

How Would the Reach Codes go into Effect?

September 14 City Council Meeting Update

Fast Facts

  • Statewide, as the electricity grid gets cleaner, 89% of emissions come from natural gas in homes and fuel in vehicles (transportation emissions: 46% and building gas emissions: 43%)
  • Electricity and natural gas usage in Redwood City buildings accounts for 45% of all GHG within the City
  • Natural gas accounts for approximately 4% of total energy consumption in buildings, but generates approximately 68% of emissions from buildings
  • Electricity accounts for approximately 96% of total energy, but generates just 32% of GHGs from buildings
  • Building electrification is less expensive to construct — Capital Cost of thermal systems (Mixed-fuel home: $23,000 versus All-electric home: $13,000)
  • Retrofit a parking garage for EV charging is 2–5 times more expensive (Retrofit: $3,100 versus New construction: $1,380)

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City of Redwood City

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