Santa Clara County communities lead the way to a clean, electric future
Santa Clara County, Calif. – The cities of Los Altos and Sunnyvale have now voted to adopt local amendments to the state building code, known as “reach codes”, to support construction of healthier, safer and emissions-free buildings. The two cities are joining a group of 11 other leading Santa Clara County communities that have adopted such reach codes over the past year.
The City of Los Altos passed amendments requiring new construction to be all-electric, with certain exemptions in single-family residential housing. Los Altos also passed electric vehicle (EV) charging reach codes which will increase the number of chargers in new construction, making charging more accessible for community members.
“The all-electric building codes for new construction adopted by Los Altos will meet state cost-effectiveness requirements and ensure that Los Altos continues to reduce emissions,” said Neysa Fligor, Vice Mayor of Los Altos and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) board member. “Los Altos is proud to join with fellow Santa Clara County communities in encouraging the switch to clean electricity for a better tomorrow.”
The City of Sunnyvale passed all-electric reach codes for most new construction as the first phase of a multi-phase approach. Sunnyvale also passed EV charging reach codes to aid in the transition to clean, electric transportation.
“To reach our city’s climate action goals we must utilize the clean electricity we have access to,” said Nancy Smith, Vice Mayor of Sunnyvale and SVCE Vice Chair. “Using clean electricity in new all-electric buildings gives Sunnyvale an advantage in the fight against climate change, as a cost-effective way to reduce the amount of emissions our residents and businesses create every day.”
Locally, nearly half of all emissions come from transportation, and another one-third come from burning natural gas in buildings. Thirteen communities in Santa Clara County have now passed reach codes, making it clear that cities recognize that more must be done to significantly reduce pollution from buildings and transportation to meet the state’s carbon reduction goals.
To support member communities with the ongoing transition to all-electric construction, SVCE has partnered with TRC, a leading environmental consulting/engineering firm, to launch the Building Electrification Technical Assistance program. The program will provide free, extensive technical assistance to architects, builders, developers, design engineers, contractors, and energy consultants on all-electric building technologies and EV infrastructure. More information on this program can be found at https://allelectricdesign.org/.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.
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