City of Pasadena to Require Electrification of Newly Constructed Buildings

PASADENA, Calif.—At their June 13 meeting, the Pasadena City Council passed a motion to move forward with an ordinance requiring the electrification of certain categories of newly constructed buildings in an effort to further advance the City’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

According to the City’s Climate Action Plan, as of 2009, approximately 47% of community-wide GHG emissions are from residential and commercial energy use, with residential energy use totaling 16% and commercial energy use totaling 31%. Pasadena cannot meet its climate goals without shifting away from natural gas use. State policies and lower prices of renewable energy mean that substituting natural gas with electricity is one of the quickest, safest, and least expensive pathways to eliminating GHG emissions from buildings.

The new ordinance will require newly constructed mixed-use buildings, commercial buildings (except food service establishments and commercial kitchens), and multi-family buildings with more than three units to utilize electric energy only. Single-family dwellings, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) are exempt from the ordinance, but staff will return to the City Council within a year with a recommendation as to whether these buildings should also be included.

The ordinance is scheduled for a first reading on July 11 and will go into effect in August 2022. Once adopted, the City of Pasadena will become the 55th city in the state, second in Los Angeles County, and first in the San Gabriel Valley region to adopt an electrification ordinance.

For additional information, contact Management Analyst Guille Nuñez at (626) 744-7634 or gnunez@cityofpasadena.net.

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