On December 7, 2021 the Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that requires all new construction in unincorporated County areas to use electricity (not natural gas) for water heating, space heating, cooking, clothes drying, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and decorative appliances. Known as “reach codes,” these ordinances go beyond state minimum requirements to encourage electrification of buildings. New dwellings are also required to have wiring installed that will facilitate installation of battery storage. View the adopted ordinance and press release.
What are reach codes?
Every three years, the State of California adopts a new Building Standards Code contained within Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities and Counties may adopt new building standards codes that are more advanced than those required by the state, commonly known as reach codes. These codes require or encourage electrification of buildings and require additional electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.
When will they go into effect?
The ordinance is in effect as of September 1, 2022.
Reach codes WOULD apply when you construct a new:
- Residential Building
- Detached ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)
- Commercial Building
- Multi-Family Building
- Mixed-Use Building
Reach codes would NOT apply when you:
- Construct a new Junior ADU
- Construct a new hospital, correctional facility, or other non-Residential building with F, H, I, and L occupancies
- Replace appliances or equipment in an existing building (i.e. water heater, furnace, stove)
- Remodel or alter an existing building
- Add square footage to an existing building
- Make exterior alterations to an existing site (i.e. backyard BBQ, fire pit, pool heating)
What are the benefits?
- Improve indoor air quality and safety
- Reduce new building construction costs since natural gas plumbing, metering, and venting are not needed
- Combat climate pollution by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Helps transition County’s building stock to State’s planned phase-out of natural gas infrastructure