SLO trying to phase out natural gas

August 13, 2019

The San Luis Obispo City Council is considering adopting an ordinance that would amend the building code to ban the fitting of new residential and commercial buildings with natural gas-powered appliances. [Cal Coast Times]

A proposed ordinance, which is expected to come before the city council in September, would not require the removal of natural gas appliances from existing buildings. Also, developers could still construct new buildings that would use natural gas appliances if they opt to pay in-lieu fees or retrofit existing buildings.

SLO’s proposed building code amendments are part of a city initiative to become carbon-neutral by 2035. The city cites the California Energy Commission in identifying electrification as the lowest risk pathway to decarbonization.

City staff also claim it is cheaper to construct new buildings and to operate them if they contain electric-powered appliances. Likewise, staffers say the carbon-free buildings would be healthier and safer for occupants.

But, critics say use of natural gas appliances generates cheaper utility bills and forced electrification would raise the cost of living in SLO.

On behalf of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association, attorney Charles Bell sent a letter to the SLO City Council urging it to reject the proposed ordinance. Bell’s letter states the ordinance would lead to the elimination of the use of natural gas for heating in both residential and non-residential commercial buildings, as well as apartments and hotels.

“This amendment is not required by state law, has not been evaluated in terms of its cost impact on already-impacted new housing construction or on remodeled construction, and is very likely to increase the cost of housing which the city acknowledges has become unaffordable to local families and workers. Neither the efficacy nor the energy consumption impacts of the proposal has been evaluated,” according to the letter. “The proposal appears to be another attempt by the city of San Luis Obispo to ‘burnish’ its extreme environmental credentials at the expense of residents and taxpayers.”

If approved, the ordinance is expected to take effect in 2020.


This really has little to do with electric vs. gas, and everything to do with Heidi Harmon and her followers making sure they stick to the script they’re provided by the folks who pull their strings. It’s just the latest in a long line of brain-dead policies intended to make sure SLO has progressive street cred when the mayor goes to her mayoral conventions (using taxpayer funds and staying in hotels which still use gas and eating at expensive restaurants that cook with gas). The only thing thicker than the nonsense in SLO these days is the hypocrisy.


People that have been made to fear the earth and its ever changing climate want solar wind and nothing more…but its just not enough to run the engine of progress…sun and wind energy won’t work alone…not yet…and I would also like to remind the people of SLO that natural gas is the cleanest safest form of energy we have…if you have been told otherwise do your own research…its widely available….


Typo in last paragraph – should read “when approved…”.

So use electric everything and if the electricity is generated by natural gas it’s someone else’s problem?


Everyone: comments about natural gas are fine, insults are not.

Can’t comment without insulting someone, then don’t.


I believe the current city council members and all city employees, including the many who don’t live here but commute here daily especially in all-electric cars, should be required to live in all-electric homes for a few years and then report back on their experiences. That way they can pat themselves on the back for reducing their carbon footprint! That way we will have the empirical data to know if all-electric is truly the best way to go, environmentally, financially, etc., without forcing new home buyers to be the guinea pigs in a costly social and environmental experiment.

Any takers? I didn’t think so.


Watch out for you ask for, they will probably get taxpayer funded assistance for their higher utility bills, a city backed loan 0% interest loan for their new electric car plus a city paid installation at their house for the hook up, heck just they city will just give them a new electric car, taxpayer funded appliance replacement, and just the heck of it a raise.

Francesca Bolognini

Oh my! There are soooo many people who want to maintain the status quo on this site! No matter how much of a disaster this is creating, ’cause, hey, we’ll all be gone by the time it hits the fan for real, right??? Actually, things are ramping up a lot faster than even the most pessimistic predicted and so, no, we will still be here, at least temporarily, to partake of the fun.

Seriously, people. Just how hard is it to understand what is happening and get out in front of it? Many countries are already way ahead of us on “green energy”, and most of those get far less sun that we do and are not situated right next to the ocean or even have the amount of wind we can totally count on to blow most of the year. And that doesn’t even address biofuels. But then many don’t seem to even be aware that most of these are not just infinitely cleaner, but also either competitive or cheaper than fossil fuels and infinitely cleaner and less expensive than a nuke, since they are not producing tons of plutonium per year, etc..

For people who supposedly don’t like taxes, most of you seem totally comfortable with giving massive bonuses and subsidies and “tax cuts” to fossil fuel industries. Why would subsidizing cleaner sources be a bad thing next to destroying our environment instead? Perhaps because you work for the fossil fuel industry and lack the adaptability to retrain. Green energy jobs pay well, so I doubt it is just a salary issue. It appears to add up to fear, a lack of intellect or just plain preference to remain ignorant of facts.

Don’t think that the kids who are possibly going to survive a planetary environmental collapse (not making this up) are going to look back on those who ignored the obvious as being very bright.


Solar is great! Im betting our installer was thrilled to replace our $2500 inverted after a few years of use when it failed, and that is the #1 rated brand. Of course its not about economic benefits or savings to the consumer, its about saving earth right? But isn’t that a tad hypocritical coming from a Californian who has 39,999,999 neighbors and lives in a place that thrives on tourism from a vast majority driving gas guzzling trucks from hours away? So if we take the majority of the American solar panel producers who have their panels made in Malaysia, the Philippines and China where enviro regs are non existent, Id guess the tons of pollution created from manufacturing these to power the world with solar, will outweigh the carbon deposits of natural gas use. Change for the sake of just change makes N0 sense, but it does cost the consumer and create new jobs dont it?


“Im betting our installer was thrilled” It’s called a warranty, shit happens and it was fixed in a few hours at most and replaced by the factory.

Did you lease?

Right so people drive cars so we shouldn’t do solar? Lol, mole hills to mountains.


I’d very much like to hear Harmon explain how this helps SLO’s desire for more affordable housing.


It does she just doesn’t say the “affordable part” is for anyone making $150,000 or more, including benefits, like most city employees.

Jorge Estrada

Pro-electricity will require pro-nuclear at this time. With all of the electric vehicles now being promoted we’ll need to expand the electrical carrying capacity of the power lines as well as a new facility for the spent batteries too. Something to think about while creating a masterpiece with your eyebrow pencil.


The photo of Harmon says it all. These are super-idealistic herd-instinct unicorn regressives elected by passionate Cal Poly youths. This pretty world they seek is based on an out-of-region temporary “wise” 22-year-old’s estimation of a perfect world in political action.

It’s often carried on in a viral way by those immune to free market forces and mostly shockingly ignorant of them: employees of government. Such idealists will dutifully cart water from the deep end of the swimming pool and dump it into the shallow end and think they’re keeping the pool full, such as using electricity to replace gas. At a party, it’s easy to win a coin toss with them; all you have to do is say, “Heads I win, tails you lose.” Sadly, they are elected to authority by … smarter-than-thou youths with zero vested here.

The servant — government — has presently become the master, not surprising in a county seat where government is the county’s number one employer. In San Luis, only the wealthy and/or politically compliant can live comfortably. All others are forced to conform and submit to a heavily judgmental lifestyle ideal.

Coupled with the bizarre tyranny of the SLO police regarding a family removed from their kids because of a messy house rooted in a false search for the police chief’s lost gun …!!!!!!! It’s straight out of a Steinbeck novel! {^) And frankly deserves all the national ridicule it gets.

Those quick to judge California … remember … she has enough oil reserves off her coast to save the nation’s day in a pinch, not to mention an incredibly rich ocean food resource currently regulated off-limits by government. That status could change on a dime due to forces well beyond our little SLOCO Middle Kingdom’s control … California is worth making it hard for regressives who have little understanding of her.

Stand fast, Californians.