This means no gas hook-ups ….
This means no gas hook-ups at all: No gas stoves, water heaters or space heating, no natural gas pool or spa heaters, natural gas barbeques, fireplaces, fire pits or outdoor heaters.
New commercial buildings with restaurants will not be able to cook with gas stoves; health clubs, schools and athletic facilities will not be able to heat commercialpoolsandspaswithnaturalgas.
It is obvious that this means significant consequences to the pool and spa industry in areas that adopt the codes.
There are many who are in opposition to such ordinances, and the California Pool and SpaAssociation, CPSA, with the support of the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, PHTA, has joined state coalitions consisting of restaurants, realtors, the building industry, gas appliance manufacturers, commercial building owners and patio interests to fight back. In addition to the ramifications to major industries within California, opponents to city-wide gas bans say that it is not possible to go 100 percent electric without undermining the reliability of the grid and without tremendous increased costs for consumers.
“The advocates that want an allrenewable system have indicated that California will have to generate twice the electricity to take care of the needs by 2045. They are going to have to expand and improve the electrical grid – and the conservative estimate to do that is $75 billion,” Norwood said.
To get the amount of solar energy the state will need, Norwood says it will require 700,000 acres of land committed exclusively to solar.
Another renewable energy source is offshore wind, which experts say will be essential to California achieving its renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2030 and 2040.
However, Norwood says this has yet to be developed in California.
“Meanwhile, to store that energy they will need up to a million lithium ion batteries because we need back-up when the wind doesn’t blow and when the sun doesn't shine. Well, those lithium ion batteries can explode and they are fire hazards,” Norwood said.
And in a state that experiences increasingly expensive fire seasons, public utilities are already incurring tremendous costs.
Furthermore, Norwood says that allelectric houses cost more to build and maintain.
“When houses get remodeled to convert from gas, they have to replace the service panel with a bigger panel. That’s $7,000 to $8,000 right there. California realtors say that for every $1,000 you add to the price of a house, over 100,000 Californians will no longer be able to afford to purchase their own home,” Norwood said.
Norwood believes the costs to the consumer will skyrocket, and will exacerbate the existing affordable housing and homeless problem.
The CPSA has spent countless hours monitoring REACH codes, filing comments in opposition to the ordinances and educating the public on what 100 percent electric will mean for the future of California.
However, because these codes are enacted at the city council level, there is little time to respond to their proposed adoptions.
“It’s a full time job to monitor the actions of 458 city councils. And the most time you have is 48 hours to respond to their notices,” Norwood said.
Terry Doyle, Product Manager for Fluidra, said that like it or not, electric is the future of California.
“This train has already left the station and it's going to happen. It's just a matter of how quickly,” Doyle said.
The CPSA has created a flier about California cities decarbonization efforts and a sample letter (see page 13) for concerned citizens who would like to contact their local city council members.
Visit https://thecpsa.org/naturalgasflyer- cpsa-electronic/.