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Reach Codes are more restrictive Local Amendments to the State’s Energy Code and CalGreen Building to require new residential, multifamily dwellings, and non-residential building developments to: (1) be built to all electric standards (with some exceptions); (2) install solar photovoltaic systems; and (3) install electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
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A number of Bay Area cities have adopted Reach Codes to reduce GHGs and meet climate protection goals. For new buildings, Reach Codes limit the use of natural gas (which releases GHGs) and require building electrification, solar system installation to support renewable energy, and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to meet growing EV charging demand. Natural gas usage in buildings is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions accounting for approximately 40% of all carbon emissions. Switching to a heat pump water heater can reduce household GHG emissions by up to 70% annually, and switching from a gas furnace to a high-efficiency air-source heat pump can reduce household GHG emissions by up to 54% annually.
Power outages can affect both natural gas and all-electric buildings. Typically, electricity is restored more quickly than natural gas after a disaster. PCE is exploring how to minimize risks from power outages and is currently providing residential incentives for solar installation and battery backup systems.
The Reach codes only apply to New Construction. In switching appliances in an existing building or during remodeling, residents are not impacted by Reach Codes.
Projects that have been entitled by the Planning division are exempt from Reach Codes.