In 2023, LA becomes Largest CA city to electrify new building contruction

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California Construction News staff writer

Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring all new buildings within city limits be constructed all-electric, making the city the largest in the state and the second largest in the country to mandate a shift away from fossil fuels in new construction.

In Los Angeles, the code comes into effect in 2023.

According to the ordinance, an all electric building “contains no combustion equipment, plumbing for combustion equipment, gas piping, or fuel gas serving any use including, but not limited to, space heating (including fireplaces), water heating (including pools and spas), cooking appliances (including barbeques), and clothes drying, within the building or building property lines, and instead uses electricity as the sole source of energy for all lighting, appliances and/or equipment, including, but not limited to, space heating, water heating, cooking appliances, and drying appliances.

New buildings of all types are covered by the mandate, with limited exemptions for specific end uses such as cooking in commercial facilities and industrial uses. However, construction that uses an exemption must ensure that it is electric-ready for future energy transitions.

The ordinance sets out reasons , including “the gravity and urgency of the climate emergency become more apparent with each passing year of rising temperatures, dangerous wildfires, and more severe droughts—all of which disproportionately impact communities of color and the most vulnerable Angelenos. The  City of Los Angeles must do all in its power to reduce its carbon emissions and move toward a sustainable, zero-carbon economy.”

Buildings in Los Angeles account for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions. About 30 percent of California’s cities and towns have announced plan to implement building codes requiring new construction to be all-electric.

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