News

Mountain View City Council backs natural gas ban for all new homes

No more gas stoves, fireplaces or heaters over greenhouse gas concerns

The Mountain View City Council took a strong stance in battling climate change, unanimously approving new building codes that would phase out the use of natural gas in all types of new homes.

The prohibition will also come with steep requirements for electric vehicle charging spaces for future residential and commercial development, and a potential ban on wood stoves and outdoor fire pits. The changes are largely aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging a surge in electric vehicle usage in Mountain View.

The "reach codes," which were adopted at the Oct. 22 meeting and go into effect next year, will require all single-family homes, duplexes, multi-unit housing and commercial development to have electric heating, cooling, water heaters and cooking appliances -- essentially eliminating the need for natural gas hookups. Though city building staff initially recommended that single-family homes could continue to use gas for cooking appliances and fireplaces, council members rejected the idea.

Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga said the city needs to be bold and lead the way on reducing emissions and boosting electric vehicle usage, calling it an important measure for future generations.

"I have two daughters in high school and they really brought to light to me how important this is," Abe-Koga said. "They are literally afraid that the world is going to end during their lifetime. It didn't really hit me until they said that, and that's how their friends feel too."

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Abe-Koga said she sees all-electric homes as the new normal, and that it feels like a more even-handed approach. Giving residents who can afford $2 million for a single-family home the ability to use gas while prohibiting others feels like a social justice issue, she said.

Several speakers at the meeting, many from the group Carbon Free Mountain View, lauded the decision for going above and beyond California's latest emission-cutting legislative actions. Resident Mike Balma called it a "wonderful milestone" as the city sets standards for infrastructure that will be around for the next 40 or 50 years. IdaRose Sylvester said the city has plenty of reasons to ditch gas cooktops in all homes, including single-family residences.

"Gas cooktops are dangerous, they are the leading cause of house fires and burns, and the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning," she said. "They are potent sources of indoor air pollution, emitting fine particulate matter, formaldehyde and nitrous oxide."

St. Francis High School student Jamie Minden urged the council to show leadership by adopting "aggressive" building codes that include all-out bans on natural gas, describing it as an obligation to future generations.

"We are afraid for our futures. The planet is warming at an unprecedented rate and people in power are not doing enough about it," she said.

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Representatives from companies that will have to build under the new codes were less thrilled by the council's requirements. Eric Hansen, vice president of construction at SummerHill Homes, said the changes will make it more difficult for developers and will challenge the viability of housing projects, particularly the high bar for electric vehicle chargers.

For multi-unit housing and commercial development, 15% of the spaces must have a Level 2 charging station capable of charging a car for up to 180 miles over the course of eight hours, according to city staff reports. But the codes also require 100% of the spaces to be "EV Ready," meaning new development will have to build the electrical infrastructure for charging at every parking space.

If the requirements are approved, Hansen said they will collectively bring up the electrical load of apartment buildings by 50%, which can't be augmented with solar power or batteries, starting in just a few months.

"I think there are a lot of unintended consequences with the implementation of these reach codes," he said.

Jeral Poskey, a representative from Google, described the requirements as overkill that could end up being onerous and costly for developers. Utility companies have to provide power for all of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure regardless of how many drivers take advantage of it, which could lead to penalties and fines if much of it goes unused.

"Even in the future of 100% electric vehicles, they don't all need to charge every day and every morning," Poskey said.

Despite the crackdown on gas stoves, council members agreed to have a special waiver available for commercial kitchens that require natural gas for cooking appliances to prepare dishes that can't be cooked using electric alternatives.

The new codes will take effect in January, meaning any developer that does not submit complete building applications to the city by December will be subject to the new requirements. Initial development applications do not count.

Abe-Koga's motion, which passed 7-0, included adoption of the reach codes along with a request for staff to bring back a potential ban on wood-burning stoves and outdoor fire pits, which is tentatively scheduled to come back to the council for approval next year.

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Mountain View City Council backs natural gas ban for all new homes

No more gas stoves, fireplaces or heaters over greenhouse gas concerns

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 5, 2019, 10:26 am

The Mountain View City Council took a strong stance in battling climate change, unanimously approving new building codes that would phase out the use of natural gas in all types of new homes.

The prohibition will also come with steep requirements for electric vehicle charging spaces for future residential and commercial development, and a potential ban on wood stoves and outdoor fire pits. The changes are largely aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging a surge in electric vehicle usage in Mountain View.

The "reach codes," which were adopted at the Oct. 22 meeting and go into effect next year, will require all single-family homes, duplexes, multi-unit housing and commercial development to have electric heating, cooling, water heaters and cooking appliances -- essentially eliminating the need for natural gas hookups. Though city building staff initially recommended that single-family homes could continue to use gas for cooking appliances and fireplaces, council members rejected the idea.

Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga said the city needs to be bold and lead the way on reducing emissions and boosting electric vehicle usage, calling it an important measure for future generations.

"I have two daughters in high school and they really brought to light to me how important this is," Abe-Koga said. "They are literally afraid that the world is going to end during their lifetime. It didn't really hit me until they said that, and that's how their friends feel too."

Abe-Koga said she sees all-electric homes as the new normal, and that it feels like a more even-handed approach. Giving residents who can afford $2 million for a single-family home the ability to use gas while prohibiting others feels like a social justice issue, she said.

Several speakers at the meeting, many from the group Carbon Free Mountain View, lauded the decision for going above and beyond California's latest emission-cutting legislative actions. Resident Mike Balma called it a "wonderful milestone" as the city sets standards for infrastructure that will be around for the next 40 or 50 years. IdaRose Sylvester said the city has plenty of reasons to ditch gas cooktops in all homes, including single-family residences.

"Gas cooktops are dangerous, they are the leading cause of house fires and burns, and the leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning," she said. "They are potent sources of indoor air pollution, emitting fine particulate matter, formaldehyde and nitrous oxide."

St. Francis High School student Jamie Minden urged the council to show leadership by adopting "aggressive" building codes that include all-out bans on natural gas, describing it as an obligation to future generations.

"We are afraid for our futures. The planet is warming at an unprecedented rate and people in power are not doing enough about it," she said.

Representatives from companies that will have to build under the new codes were less thrilled by the council's requirements. Eric Hansen, vice president of construction at SummerHill Homes, said the changes will make it more difficult for developers and will challenge the viability of housing projects, particularly the high bar for electric vehicle chargers.

For multi-unit housing and commercial development, 15% of the spaces must have a Level 2 charging station capable of charging a car for up to 180 miles over the course of eight hours, according to city staff reports. But the codes also require 100% of the spaces to be "EV Ready," meaning new development will have to build the electrical infrastructure for charging at every parking space.

If the requirements are approved, Hansen said they will collectively bring up the electrical load of apartment buildings by 50%, which can't be augmented with solar power or batteries, starting in just a few months.

"I think there are a lot of unintended consequences with the implementation of these reach codes," he said.

Jeral Poskey, a representative from Google, described the requirements as overkill that could end up being onerous and costly for developers. Utility companies have to provide power for all of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure regardless of how many drivers take advantage of it, which could lead to penalties and fines if much of it goes unused.

"Even in the future of 100% electric vehicles, they don't all need to charge every day and every morning," Poskey said.

Despite the crackdown on gas stoves, council members agreed to have a special waiver available for commercial kitchens that require natural gas for cooking appliances to prepare dishes that can't be cooked using electric alternatives.

The new codes will take effect in January, meaning any developer that does not submit complete building applications to the city by December will be subject to the new requirements. Initial development applications do not count.

Abe-Koga's motion, which passed 7-0, included adoption of the reach codes along with a request for staff to bring back a potential ban on wood-burning stoves and outdoor fire pits, which is tentatively scheduled to come back to the council for approval next year.

Comments

A Talking Cat
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:49 am
A Talking Cat, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:49 am
8 people like this

Great to see this. Induction cooktops are safer, more efficient, more environmentally-friendly, AND cook things faster than gas stovetops! (If you're in the market, avoid electric cooktops and make sure to get an induction one). They're only marginally more expensive, and the prices are coming down a LOT.


robstar
Registered user
Willowgate
on Nov 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm
robstar, Willowgate
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm
25 people like this

Wow. Is our local power already green enough that the _per-BTU_ emissions for electric home heating are less than gas? Or is this aspirational?


Facts over Follies
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm
Facts over Follies, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm
88 people like this

Until CA has nearly 100% green power generation, this change will actually make global warming worse. It is much more efficient to heat a home with gas than to use a gas power plant to create electricity and an electric heater to heat the home.

Please have someone with an engineering background run the actual numbers before proceeding down this path. Let's do what is right vs. what sounds good.


Would it matter
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Would it matter, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm
30 people like this

So instead of explaining to your terrified daughter that her teachers are brainwashing her with BS that electricity is clean, you instead penalize future residents for it? Can mountain view guarantee no electricity cuts from pg&e?
This is the hubris of the rich making claims that they are saving the world, while pushing out it's homeless into neighboring San Jose.


OldTimer
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm
OldTimer, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm
49 people like this

Why do our elected officials punish their constituents? It's VERY costly to run water heaters and dryers on electricity. PG&E has some of the highest electricity rates in the country. Ridiculous.


Resident near San Antonio
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm
Resident near San Antonio, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm
9 people like this


When first read, thought well "this will increase emissions, since gas is used to generate the electricity, and gas turbines are only about 60% efficient."

But new electric, heat pump space heaters and water heaters, produce up to 3x more heating power than what is put in.

Parent (on the East Coast) has an electric heat pump water heater, it is quite impressive, puts out a blast of cold air and dehumidifies the basement.

The overall issue has been studied:

Web Link


Jake O.
Rengstorff Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm
Jake O., Rengstorff Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm
41 people like this

So the council is now getting recommendations from high school students


Old Mtn View
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:40 pm
Old Mtn View, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:40 pm
41 people like this

A big over reach by our bureaucrats.

So I can’t have an outdoor fire pit now? No nice gas grill in my kitchen?

And a must add an electric charger for a car I don’t have? This will only make new houses more expensive!

We need practical solutions to fit climate that make a significant difference t not petty regulation.

Wow

This should be put to the voters.


Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:44 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2019 at 2:44 pm
44 people like this

Abe-Koga is so very wrongheaded on this issue.

Her kids are "literally afraid that the world is going to end during their lifetime". WTF are schools teaching?

Are ill-informed high-school kids driving the rest of the council's agenda as well?


Robyn
another community
on Nov 5, 2019 at 3:28 pm
Robyn, another community
on Nov 5, 2019 at 3:28 pm
24 people like this

And what are we to do when the electricity is shut off as we have been warned that it will be on dry, windy days?
This seems premature. Perhaps, a solution in search of a problem.
I, too, would like to see the engineers' opinions.
As we continue to build, more power will be consumed and garbage produced by the influx of residents.
Meanwhile, do something positive for the current residents.


reader
Waverly Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 3:35 pm
reader, Waverly Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 3:35 pm
15 people like this

Fingers crossed that Abe-Koga's daughters will bring home their friends whose parents have been priced out of the rental market and live in a car or RV.


Anonymous
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 4:47 pm
Anonymous, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 4:47 pm
45 people like this

This is completely insane, and a massive incentive to not develop a new home in MV.

As someone who loves to cook, induction cooktops are far more limited compared to gas. This is also a bit hard to stomach at a time when PG&E can’t figure out how to stop setting the state on fire without turning off the power.

There’s no possible way that solar can meet the energy needs of a house running an electric furnace, water heater, cooktop, and oven.

How is any of this reasonable?


Ju
Waverly Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 5:51 pm
Ju, Waverly Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 5:51 pm
31 people like this

This shows the level of immaturity. If this is the way, (based on high school kids' emotional feelings about our planet) council members decide upon the city codes, it is highly recommended to ask your high school kids to bring up a report with more facts before you make such major decisions regarding several households daily lives!
Do you even have the statistics and comparitive analysis?
Please, before taking these big steps you need to prove to the residents that you have a solid report.
I have lived in communities that had just electric heating and the amount of effort and expense is just too too much when compared to natural gas.
If you and your kid are so concerned about green house emission, please sit and go through together the comparisons. And if you think this will help you to have a shining moment for yourself, you are completely wrong!


KB
Blossom Valley
on Nov 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm
KB, Blossom Valley
on Nov 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm
18 people like this

If every part of this adopted, it's even dumber than climate change denial.

Why don't we ban candles, too? Any flame? Any combustion at all. Then, when the already shuddering PGE electric grid finds itself straining under multiples of its current load, we can talk about all the difference we're making to the climate, while power plants burn the same gas we banned to supply us with that electricity that the grid will use make sparks that burn down the whole state every year.

Those wildfires are carbon neutral, right?


bjd
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm
bjd, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm
37 people like this

I have to say, this is a disappointing and frankly impulsive and misguided decision by City Council. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely concerned about climate change and think there is a lot of opportunity for City Council to put together policies that take us in the right direction. This is not one of those policies.

The best way to go after climate change in California is to increase housing density. This is well-known. Higher density housing means less driving, and more centralization of services (deliveries, infrastructure, etc). This plan will undoubtedly increase the costs of building across the board, in some cases stopping housing projects dead in their tracks-- especially REQUIRING a number of parking spaces, and now making those parking spaces even MORE expensive to build and maintain.

This is a step in the wrong direction even for single-family homes. Electric heating is vastly less efficient and more expensive than natural gas. You could cover every inch of a roof with solar paneling (adding tens of thousands of dollars of cost) and still not come close to providing enough energy to cover your lighting, heating, cooking, charging, and driving needs. (We have a fairly large solar array for our 1700 sqft home, which does not cover our power needs that do not currently include heating, cooking, or car charging) So now a house will be 100% reliant on PG&E's electrical grid, and we all know how that's faring.

I hope this decision is revisited, and Council focuses on climate policies that take us in the right direction and not two steps backwards.


RT
another community
on Nov 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm
RT, another community
on Nov 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm
18 people like this

Clearly none of the council members have been hit with a power outage (yet). How about we first make sure we have reliable power, before we rely on it even more?


John
Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:33 pm
John, Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:33 pm
33 people like this

Why is councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga not suing her daughter's school teachers for putting those crazy notions in their heads. Isn't that child abuse?


Neighbor
Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm
Neighbor, Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm
19 people like this

If the council wants all-electric homes, why aren't they requiring solar panels on the roofs of these homes?


mr Clean
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:39 pm
mr Clean, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:39 pm
15 people like this

all this is great but what happens when PGE says screw you on a cold night


Billy Bob
Bailey Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:09 pm
Billy Bob, Bailey Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:09 pm
24 people like this

City Council clearly has no clue period . Please vote these people out we deserve better enough already .


Norm
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:20 pm
Norm, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:20 pm
14 people like this

Wow, High School kids sure do have a lot of influence these days. This is not a well thought out idea, as time will prove, and can someone let me know the specific food item that has to be cooked with gas?

Makes me glad we moved out of Palo Alto Jr. Errrrr I mean Mt View


Don't get made, get involved!
Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:52 pm
Don't get made, get involved!, Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:52 pm
38 people like this

People,
You all voted for this!

Remember several years ago you all voted on, state ballot, and passed that global warming/carbon tax scheme. I do not remember what the ballot measure was actually called.

But the state will be banning all natural gas hookups to new homes in the next few years, then it will ban natural gas outright. The activists say that banning all fossil fuels is the only way to make a difference in the "fight against global warming".

Banning gasoline in this state will also be happening in the future as they want everyone to have electric cars.

Pay attention to what they are saying in Sacramento. Only one person showed up at the city council meeting to speak against this gas ban, lots of people/activists showed up and spoke in favor of, and wanted even stricter measures. They where prepared for the meeting, you should have been too.

The only outcome in reality will be that you will have less money in your wallet, and all this expensive good for nothing man made global warming B.S
will not change one thing on this planet.


Ski6
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm
Ski6, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm
18 people like this

Oh city council. Really? Did you really do this? I can only imagine there is some broader political appeasement strategy happening. I.e. give the liberals this vote on banning natiral gas, and they will support you on some other controversial proposal.

This is a terrible idea. You are telling homeowners that they cant have a gas fireplace. What do you want them to have: a wood burning fireplace? That was banned too. Electric fireplace? That does not heat a room.

Just so I am clear: banning my gas stove helps the environment, but keeping 300+ RVs on the streets dumping raw sewage into our sewers ('gray' water and the ultra disgusting to handle 'black water' for those of you in the know that have ever rented or owned an RV) is good for the environment? Also, did you know electric water heaters are super inefficient and not environmentally friendly? Im so confused by this council and their (lack of) a cohesive agenda


Dubious
Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:26 am
Dubious, Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:26 am
24 people like this

I will be voting against any current member of the MV city council in the next election. This is just stupid.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 7:08 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2019 at 7:08 am
8 people like this

Just fyi

My neighbor had a CO poisoning problem caused by poor maintenance of her fas heater

And

That gas pipes are a serious risk of fire during an earthquake,

And

Electrical heating systems are much easier to maintain and service

So instead of attacking the politics of the situation you should deal with the comparison between the two. To keep it looks like as far as safety the electrical methods are in a position of advantage.


Fair
Rengstorff Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:50 am
Fair, Rengstorff Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:50 am
8 people like this

Don't forget Margaret has a Twitter (PR) account. Take it to her directly and let her know how you feel.

@margaretabekoga


New Era
Blossom Valley
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:41 am
New Era, Blossom Valley
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:41 am
12 people like this

This seems like a really big decision for the city to make without allowing any public comment. We have solar panels and a battery in our home, and I am all for moving forward. We still use natural gas...only for cooking. In 10-20 years, electricity may be far cleaner than gas. But as of now...


Dori
Cuernavaca
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:43 am
Dori, Cuernavaca
on Nov 6, 2019 at 9:43 am
9 people like this

To the commenters here blaming schools for "brainwashing" kids:

Please don't assume that kids get all their information from schools. On the contrary, they probably retain little from school. They are getting their information mostly from the internet at this point. Greta Thunberg is probably a big influence on teens. I'm 35 and I'm not looking forward to my future in this climate crisis, so I can only imagine how this is affecting teens. It's like the cold war with bomb shelters except the threat is even more existential now. The news is constantly about our doomed future (not to mention all of the wildfires that make living in California seem hazardous in a way that earthquakes somehow don't).

Please stop blaming teachers for every societal ill...they already have enough BS to deal with.


Minimal Impact
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:09 am
Minimal Impact, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:09 am
5 people like this

"This seems like a really big decision for the city to make without allowing any public comment.

They aren't banning gas in existing homes so I really don't know how many people this would effect other than buyers or renters of brand new, yet to even be built homes. What you currently have, stays without change.

As a contractor and builder, I LOVE it. Much easier in most all regards.


Ivan
Cuesta Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:33 am
Ivan, Cuesta Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:33 am
8 people like this

I hope someone will invent a "catalytic converter" for natural gas fumes, which can capture and store the CO2.

Natural gas is 4 to 8 times cheaper than electricity (depends on the time of the day you use electricity).

And it never shuts down (unlike electricity).


Overall, I disagree with Abe. This change will raise the cost of new construction, and that's baaaad.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:53 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:53 am
Like this comment

Ivan,

The last resource I read was that the cost of operating a electric water heater versus gas is $30 for gas and $42 for electric. But the electric water heater is also much cheaper Web Link

Heating is more expensive twice the cost as electric but the installation is much less expensive Web Link.

I think you overestimated the cost factors quite a bit.

The real issue it appears is that many critics probably are those with investments in gas fuel products.


Anela Rose
Monta Loma
on Nov 6, 2019 at 11:17 am
Anela Rose, Monta Loma
on Nov 6, 2019 at 11:17 am
15 people like this

Looks like I made a mistake my last time voting for city council. I happen to think gas is very efficient and inexpensive, so I completely disagree with this position.


Ken Rosenberg
Blossom Valley
on Nov 6, 2019 at 11:58 am
Ken Rosenberg, Blossom Valley
on Nov 6, 2019 at 11:58 am
9 people like this

I applaud this bold move by Mountain View Council. Mining for natural gas releases methane which is 70% more potent than carbon dioxide as a green house gas. The natural gas delivery system is dangerous (remember the huge fire we had several years ago up the peninsula?) and the system is expensive to repair.

Induction heating and electric for stove tops is safer (no carbon monoxide from burning gas) and the electrical grid is more robust than gas. Capping it off is that most people already get their electricity from renewable sources in Mountain View and we have a win win.

The only true complaint is that the adjustment from using gas stoves to electric. But chef's at the French Laundry and other fine establishments already converted to induction...not only to become a role model for the kitchens of the future, but also because it reduces burns for employees. Again...win win.


Brian
Shoreline West
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm
Brian, Shoreline West
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:01 pm
10 people like this

Let's ask the city council to work with other cities to keep Diablo Canyon open. Given the urgency to act on climate change, the closure of the state's largest and most reliable GHG-free power plant should be a major issue. Nationally, nuclear energy produces more electricity than every hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, and solar power plant combined according to the Energy Information Agency (Web Link). The most concerned about the climate should be pushing back on closing any of those power plants. Until they are, I may agree that climate change is an issue, but not a crisis.


Ron
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:06 pm
Ron, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:06 pm
27 people like this

This is what happens when our political leaders believe that they know better than engineers. Here is an estimate of the energy efficiency of an induction cooktop vs natural gas:
Every time you process energy you lose some of that energy.
The greatest energy losses occur when Natural gas, Nuclear, Petroleum, or Coal is burned to create electricity via steam (process 1).
"To express the efficiency of a generator or power plant as a percentage, divide the equivalent Btu content of a kWh of electricity (3,412 Btu) by the heat rate. For example, if the heat rate is 10,500 Btu, the efficiency is 33%. If the heat rate is 7,500 Btu, the efficiency is 45%." (Web Link)
Heat rates for 2018: (Web Link)
Natural gas is 7822 Btu; 41.5% efficiency.
Nuclear is 10455 Btu; 32.6%
Petroleum is 11095 Btu; 30.75%
Coal is 10514 Btu; 32.45%
The electricity from the steam generator is then sent to a transformer to increase its voltage for distribution (process 2). It is then sent via high voltage lines (process 3) to substations where it is transformed again into lower voltages (process 4). From there it is run on local power poles where it is transformed yet again (process 5) to the 240 split phase services most of our homes have.
"Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997,[26] 6.5% in 2007[26] and 5% from 2013 to 2019.[27] In general, losses are estimated from the discrepancy between power produced (as reported by power plants) and power sold to the end customers; the difference between what is produced and what is consumed constitute transmission and distribution losses, assuming no utility theft occurs." (Web Link)
We have a gas generation at 41.5%, then distribution at 93.5%. Thus just the electricity generation and distribution is 38.8%; including the efficiency of the cooktop itself, typically 80%, we get 31% overall efficiency from the most efficient electrical power generation (Natural gas) to the pot on the stove.
A natural gas cooktop, however, gets the heat directly to the pot but loses a lot of energy to ambient. In this paper, Web Link, which is biased toward induction cooktops, the stated efficiency of gas at the point of use, is 40%.
The bottom line is that gas is 40%, and induction is 31%. One additional point in induction cooking is that the time to temperature is less as all the energy is concentrated in the pot, little is lost to ambient, so depending on how you cook the 31% efficiency might be a little higher.

One can draw their own conclusions from the above.

As for @margaretabekoga; the people are getting what they voted for.


badgolfer
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm
badgolfer, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm
15 people like this

I will point out that Abe-Koga's daughter and her friends probably would like two things: 1. is reduced greenhouse gasses and for that I would point the to @Ron's analysis which is very sound and 2. is a downtown cannabis dispensary for which they should ask by Council-women Abe-Koga ignored the will of the voters. Vote them all out!


Electric v Gas
Castro City
on Nov 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Electric v Gas, Castro City
on Nov 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm
24 people like this

The main advantage of natural gas is heating water and drying clothes. A gas dryer drys clothes much cheaper then an electric dryer. Gas dryers cost a little more and are just as easily hooked up.

Nice to hear from a former council member who fails to understand the difference between personal choice and government coercion.


Patrick Neschleba
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 3:32 pm
Patrick Neschleba, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 3:32 pm
7 people like this

All for reducing reducing carbon emissions... but...

Mandating reliance on a single energy source, especially for something as critical as shelter and sustenance, needs to be thought through. We're living one scenario right now where our electrical supply is at risk, now how about other natural disasters? Diversity of supply matters. It's entirely possible that with today's infrastructure, gas lines survive a quake but electricity is out for days. A thoughtful ordinance is needed that thinks about solving the supply side of the equation (microgrids, line maintenance, etc), and proceeds in a way that doesn't overly sacrifice short-term safety for a noble long-term sustainability goal.

I think in 10-20 years when Mars technology has yielded efficient, carbon-neutral Sabatier-based methane production, and sensor tech has solved the carbon monoxide problem, we're going to be wondering why we can't still have our gas fireplaces and stoves. We're building homes today that will certainly be around in that era, let's be thoughtful as a community about how we proceed.


bjd
Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:24 pm
bjd, Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:24 pm
8 people like this

"Mining for natural gas releases methane which is 70% more potent than carbon dioxide as a green house gas."

At what volume is it released into the atmosphere? The OVERALL contribution of Methane as a greenhouse gas is 10%, vs CO2's 82%. And what about longevity? Methane generally stays in the atmosphere for about a decade, versus CO2's 200 years.

You are drawing up real legislation based on a poor grasp of the science involved.

Sources:
Web Link
Web Link


Don Keedick
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:35 pm
Don Keedick, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:35 pm
5 people like this

Will city council commit to reducing their own gas emmissions? I commit to farting 34% less by 2027!!


RG
Waverly Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm
RG, Waverly Park
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:41 pm
22 people like this

@ Minimal Impact - I’m guessing that the laws for new construction will also apply to remodels. So anybody putting in a new kitchen will be unable to cook with gas which is the preferred method by most people. Induction emits EMFs, there’s less control over the heat and everything sticks to the glass cooktop so it’s hard to clean. And that’s just the stove. The added expense of the hot water heater, electric heat, electric dryers etc will make this area even more unaffordable and more undesirable as a place to live.


KMS
Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm
KMS, Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm
12 people like this

What a bunch of mediocre busybodies sitting upon this City Council. I will enjoy voting against every one of them at the next opportunity.


Tom
another community
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:59 pm
Tom, another community
on Nov 6, 2019 at 8:59 pm
2 people like this

Some of you were asking for an engineer's perspective. Here's a good one in a 12 minute video link about how energy really flows and what actions are needed to improve our lives compared to status quo. Web Link


Transparency?
Cuernavaca
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:08 pm
Transparency?, Cuernavaca
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:08 pm
17 people like this

How did this progress to this point with minimal (any?) opportunity for public input? That's a big concern.

I've been reading for quite awhile that Palo Alto was having this discussion. Then, WHAM, Mt. View approves it. Completely blindsided!


EV Owner
North Whisman
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:39 pm
EV Owner, North Whisman
on Nov 6, 2019 at 10:39 pm
6 people like this

Good going MV City Council! This is the right course of action. I live in a home with no natural gas, all-electric for everything. I also chose the 100% renewables electric plan from Silicon Valley Electric. YOU CAN TOO. You can reduce your carbon footprint substantially. Also, I switched to driving an EV and I love it. No more gas stations, no more oil changes. So much more pleasurable to drive. The only problem for me is, I can't charge at my home apartment (no chargers) -- I can only charge at work or at commercial stops. This will be so helpful to us EV drivers!


Wes H
Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:54 am
Wes H, Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:54 am
9 people like this

In the wake of PG&E outages, we're going to rely solely on electricity? that's insane! I also agree wiht other posters' comments on how "gree" this move really is. If our electricity comes form natural gas-buringin generators, we are not helping the environement.


Wes H
Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:57 am
Wes H, Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:57 am
7 people like this

In the wake of the PG&E outages, we're going to rely solely on electriical power? That's insane! I also agree with other posters' comments that we ought to look into how our electrical power is generated. If it comes from natural gas-buring gnerators, then we aren't saving the environemnt.


Again
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:04 am
Again, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:04 am
12 people like this

This DOES NOT force anyone away from gas if you currently have it.
It ONLY affects new construction, a tiny fraction of all buildings in MV.

Does anyone here not understand that if you currently have gas this is a total non issue for you? Anyone still not get that part?


bjd
Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:28 am
bjd, Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:28 am
14 people like this

@Again, We get it, Boomer, some of us sometimes think about people who aren't ourselves, and choose not to pull the ladder up behind us.


Greg
Stierlin Estates
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:49 am
Greg, Stierlin Estates
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:49 am
14 people like this

Many heat pump water heaters use synthetic coolants that are themselves extremely strong greenhouse gasses. (100x as strong as methane) assuming they leak near end of life, this is may be strictly worse than a plain gas heater.

A few of the newer ones use CO2, which is far better. (Dont read that as sarcasm. 5 pounds of CO2 coolant is far too small to care about, even if it all leaks. The delivery truck released more just dropping it off.)


BKIRK
The Crossings
on Nov 7, 2019 at 12:11 pm
BKIRK, The Crossings
on Nov 7, 2019 at 12:11 pm
6 people like this

So we will have increased nuclear power to generate electricity (with increased waste problems), or build bigger dams to generate electricity (with increased damage to the environment), or fill our mountains with wind turbines (with increased damage creating roads to get there and noise pollution negatively impacting the mountain areas and the animals who live there). And because some can afford a $2M home means that they are being told they can also afford to pay the higher cost for electricity. Freedom of choice goes out the window. shortsightedness prevails.


Again
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm
Again, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm
10 people like this

The reason I'm for this is

1) It won't currently affect anyone except the buyer of a new home of office.
2) Time and technology never stands still. The future is in fact low cost renewable electric energy so best to start the move in that direction.
3)In our lifetime we'll all be moving away from gas by choice due to the lower costs.

Some people simply hate the fact that things change and evolve.


Again
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:47 pm
Again, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 1:47 pm
4 people like this

Many cities are already following suit with this. Palo Alto, Menlo, San Jose, and the list keep growing, quickly.
No coal fired furnaces either for those clinging to the past ;)


Muenchy
Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm
Muenchy, Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm
15 people like this

I respectfully suggest that the measure be amended to require its application to the council members' homes within 3 months of its enactment, with the conversion to be at their expense, and the inconveniences, higher bills, and lack of diversity of energy sources to follow for them.

Yes, I know that it doesn't require retrofitting of other existing homes, but this is meant to cause the council members to show their true passion for the merits of the measure, rather than virtue-signaling while forcing others to bear its costs and inconvenienced alone. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.


Virtue Signalling. LOL
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:48 pm
Virtue Signalling. LOL, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 3:48 pm
14 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Sophie8i8
Rengstorff Park
on Nov 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm
Sophie8i8, Rengstorff Park
on Nov 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm
9 people like this

Well, politicians and environmentalists, you do know that the ultimate solution for climate change, global warming, is limiting human activities, right? so refrain from driving, using electricity, online shopping, and global traveling will be a good start. And don’t forget, eat less!


EV Owner
North Whisman
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:00 pm
EV Owner, North Whisman
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:00 pm
Like this comment

Sophie8i8, if you had read my comment you would see that it's possible to drastically reduce your carbon emissions right now, without much change in your lifestyle. Everyone in MV, for example, can opt for the 100% renewables power option on your electric bill from Silicon Valley Green Energy. Web Link None of the power in the Green Prime energy mix is from any carbon emissions producing sources..it's all solar, wind. I switched a few years ago and my monthly bill only went up like $50 a month. Combine that with switching to hybrid and electric car and voila.. your footprint is drastically reduced. Yes, I realize air travel is horribly polluting, and I've tried to cut back on my flights at the same time, opting for work meetings by teleconference whenver possible. You can too!


a community member
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:39 pm
a community member, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 11:39 pm
3 people like this

I commend the effort, but why focus on gas in homes? If the city really wanted to focus on its carbon footprint, why not make biking and walking more friendly in MV? Focus more on making safer bike lanes and routes to schools rather than banning gas in homes. Or if one insist on focusing on homes, focus on increasing recycling and composting, and facilaite community-wide repair and reuse of used durable goods across neighbors.


Many steps
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 5:32 am
Many steps, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 5:32 am
Like this comment

There is no one thing to focus on wrt carbon footprints, no one singular solution. This is but one of many.


MVResident2008
Shoreline West
on Nov 8, 2019 at 7:58 am
MVResident2008, Shoreline West
on Nov 8, 2019 at 7:58 am
Like this comment

A message for children about climate change: Web Link


Nothing but
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:32 am
Nothing but, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:32 am
2 people like this

This is the MV Voice Msg board. There's nothing but children here.
A blog? Good grief


OK, Back to Gas
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:35 am
OK, Back to Gas, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:35 am
Like this comment

This affects currently.....NOBODY!

As a current building owner and or resident, do you know when it will affect you? NEVER!...unless in 20 years you want to sell and by then electric is more desirable to buyers.


PhD
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 9:18 am
PhD, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Nov 8, 2019 at 9:18 am
16 people like this

Simple numbers:
Buildings (6% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector arise from onsite energy generation and burning fuels for heat in buildings or cooking in homes. (Note: Emissions from electricity use in buildings are excluded and are instead covered in the Electricity and Heat Production sector.)
Electricity and Heat Production (25% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Link:
Web Link


Rodger
Sylvan Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 3:49 pm
Rodger, Sylvan Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 3:49 pm
15 people like this

Hate to give anyone ideas but the next step will involve all existing housing.
When your gas appliance dies of old age you will not be able
To buy and install a new gas appliance it will have to be electric
and you will have to pay for any electric upgrades required

So my message is fight to stop this nonsense now


The World of Imaginaaaation
Bailey Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm
The World of Imaginaaaation, Bailey Park
on Nov 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm
14 people like this

The poster above made up his post in his mind.
I guess that ends the discussion now that fantastical imagined stories get entered into it.


1980resident
Blossom Valley
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:30 pm
1980resident, Blossom Valley
on Nov 8, 2019 at 8:30 pm
9 people like this

Don’t do this. You elected guys are overstepping. Disappointed in Abe-koga. She obviously do not cook . Using microwave no doubt.


CoastalMan
another community
on Nov 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm
CoastalMan, another community
on Nov 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm
10 people like this

1.) When the grid goes down, your neighbors with natural gas can still take a hot shower, cook their meals and heat their homes.
2.) Natural gas fired plants power the grid, especially when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow and during peak demand. Battery storage is not economic or feasible.
3.) More electric vehicles and electric homes mean more natural gas fired power plants need to be built to meet the demand. Local distribution networks will have to be upgraded.
City Council certainly has not put any thought into their decision, or maybe they just don't care.


MogensLauritzen
Registered user
Gemello
on Nov 8, 2019 at 11:42 pm
MogensLauritzen, Gemello
Registered user
on Nov 8, 2019 at 11:42 pm
4 people like this

No, it does not make sense to replace a NG heater with a conventional electrical resistance heater, but it does make sense to use a heat pump. Let’s say you need 3kWh of heat:

NG; most modern NG furnaces operate up to 90% efficiency, thus you’d need to find 3kWh/0.9 => 3.3kWh of NG to produce your required heat.

Electric; a modern heat pump has 3x “efficiency”, thus you’d need 3kWh/3 => 1kHr of electricity. Assuming you get your electricity from a NG powered plant, which operate at app 50% efficiency, you’d need a total of 1kHr/0.5 => 2kWh of NG.

The heat pump wins. As you add renewables to electrical generation, the result becomes even more favorable.

We are by nature skeptical of new stuff but try to keep an open mind and understand. I sense much frustration because nothing is happening at the federal level, and yet many of us cry out to get the energy transition moving.

My old house dates to 1949, and still has the original furnace, no wall insulation and single pane windows. Yes, it’ll be CO2 neutral within the next decade. That’s not the point. The point is that a 2020 model house will hopefully be around, just like mine, 70+ years. In that case, isn’t it reasonable for it to sport the latest and most energy efficient equipment?

Nobody is suggesting we abandon our installed NG infrastructure today. It would simply be too costly. I think it will be with us for many years to come - if not indefinitely because in the renewable energy sector, we are starting to have a problem with generation curtailment. At times during the day, there’s nowhere to consume the electricity. My bet is that we will shortly begin to convert that excess to H2, and eventually make synthetic NG. In fact, it is inevitable, because we must balance seasonal renewable energy production versus consumption. By the way, up to 5% of H2 can readily be pumped into today’s NG infrastructure.

You may argue that a kWh of NG is much cheaper than a kWh of electricity. Granted, but what happens when we start adding a CO2 fee to our fossil energy sources?

By-the-way; starting Jan-2020, all new California housing will require solar systems! Some newer solar inverters sport a local power output in case there’s no grid power. No batteries, just raw sunshine.

In the end, I have two reservations with the proposed policy. If each jurisdiction is mandating their own building regulations, it makes it many times more difficult for the out-of-town construction industry to conduct business here. Secondly, as we transition the automotive fleet and NG installations, is our current electrical infrastructure capable of carrying the additional load? As for the former, California building regulations are a great resource which gives us a level playing field. As for the latter; has a local study been done?

Now, for the folks that feel status quo is fine; mother nature is merciless, and she has you-too in her crosshair! She’s already warning you; Katrina, Paradise and many more to come.

Cheers -


HowDareYou
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm
HowDareYou, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2019 at 12:44 pm
10 people like this

Who profits from Climate Change?

Web Link

Why don't voters get a say in this? Pathetic.

I'll believe climate change is real when the Elites stop flying in private jets to go to conferences in Switzerland on Climate Change.

Web Link


MogensLauritzen
Registered user
Gemello
on Nov 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm
MogensLauritzen, Gemello
Registered user
on Nov 9, 2019 at 1:47 pm
4 people like this

Who will profit from CC? Come-on-man, easy, the folks who recognize the change, anticipate the transition, and make their investments accordingly. That's where the big bucks will be made!

Do you really think the rich blokes that fly into Davos care about their personal footprint. No sir. Your house will be on fire, while they'll have bought up all remaining desirable land.

What do you think our neighbors over in Grass Valley are saying about CC these days when they no longer can get fire insurance, or are faced with 10x premiums?

You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but don't say you were not warned.

Cheers -


Julia Brown, assistant editor
Registered user
another community
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:23 am
Julia Brown, assistant editor, another community
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:23 am
1 person likes this

Hello all,

We're interested in running pro-con guest opinion pieces on the natural gas ban in the next issue of the Voice and are still looking for someone opposed to the ban to write an op-ed. Submit your piece for consideration to [email protected] by the end of the workday tomorrow (Nov. 12). Op-eds should not exceed 600 words and need to be signed by the author(s).


ShelleyWillig
another community
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:34 am
ShelleyWillig, another community
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:34 am
2 people like this

To MogensLauritzen, thank you for offering information a lay person can understand, and for your thoughtful notes about improving efficiency for the future. This Boomer is excited about high school students who take action to preserve some of the benefits of the lifestyle they have grown up in, that are now slipping away. How can we bring these young people together with more experienced people who want their children and grandchildren to breathe, eat, sleep, and exercise as easily as they have on this earth?

Cheers.


Speculative?
Cuernavaca
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:42 am
Speculative? , Cuernavaca
on Nov 11, 2019 at 11:42 am
3 people like this

A lot of posters speculate on what is the most efficient way to use energy to support a home. Every housing unit is different so there is no single way. I looked at solar a few years ago and for my limited electric use, it was not feasible. Similarly NG has some advantages over electric. The best way to settle this argument is to see what happens in the marketplace. Will the new homes built with no NG sell for a premium over homes w NG. Personally, I doubt it but lets wait and see what happens. Somehow I think my home with NG just went up in value.

If so, then thank you CC


Yimby #2
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm
Yimby #2, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm
3 people like this

Ironic to ban NG which has been responsible for displacing dirtier coal plants
Where is a chart showing the ramp down of NG along with ramp up of renewable capacity
Not sure if renewable capacity is on plan to make up for loss of NG
Can we avoid the emotional stories of Children, and stick to the facts of the case?


MogensLauritzen
Registered user
Gemello
on Nov 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm
MogensLauritzen, Gemello
Registered user
on Nov 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm
Like this comment

Hi Shelley,

I'm sure we can figure something out. You can contact me directly through my company's Contact page:
Web Link


Gary Whittaker
Cuesta Park
on Nov 12, 2019 at 1:29 pm
Gary Whittaker, Cuesta Park
on Nov 12, 2019 at 1:29 pm
6 people like this

Human's can't do a damn thing to affect the climate. The fraud that is supported by the religion of global warming ignores any real science as does all religions. The Sun is the boss and as we are heading to a grand solar minimum is coming by 2030. The models they embraced are flawed and the real science is ignored. This law is criminal.


@Gary W
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2019 at 1:56 pm
@Gary W, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2019 at 1:56 pm
2 people like this

Preach brother!
Also, I might add, humans also cannot fly "around" the world in an air plane. They cover up all the good science about the earth not being flat to push their curved world propaganda. It's all very clear to those with minds that work.
Are Gary and I the only people thinking this through!?!
Sheesh, wake up people!


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