US City Bans Gas In New Homes
Berkeley in California has become the first US city to ban the installation of natural gas pipes in new low-rise residential buildings, following a unanimous vote by city councillors on July 16.
The restriction will come into force on January 1 2020 and require all new single-family homes, town homes and small apartment buildings to use electricity rather than gas for heating and cooking, according to a published copy of the council’s decision. Commercial and larger residential structures will be included once necessary regulations are in place.
While Berkeley is the first US city to ban gas in homes, several European countries including the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK have taken, or are considering taking, similar steps at some point in order to cut carbon emissions. But the cost of reinforcing the grid to carry the additional load, or of installing heat-pumps, remains a problem. Decarbonising gas would also solve the problem.