All-Electric! …with exceptions

On September 21st, 2020, the City Council of Redwood City voted unanimously to pass all-electric reach codes with eight exceptions, as recommended by staff. Reach codes are legally required to be as or more strict than state codes, which are updated every three years, most recently going into effect on Jan 1, 2020. This article from before the first review of the staff report and the staff report itself offer more details on what the exceptions mean for development in Redwood City. The simple list is as follows:

  1. Hospitals
  2. Science labs
  3. Restaurants/catering business kitchens
  4. Factories and hazardous material facilities
  5. Projects that have previously approved land use entitlements
  6. Affordable housing projects
  7. Accessory Dwelling Units
  8. Other instances in which an applicant can submit a specific request for an exception because they feel circumstances exist that make it infeasible for their building to be an all-electric building

The exceptions make the reach codes passed by Redwood City less stringent than other surrounding cities, particularly the exceptions for affordable housing and hospitals. But as an article from Green Tech Media suggests, regulations coming in the 2022 building code cycle may require all-electric for all buildings, and even PG&E agrees it may be time to go all-electric.

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