SLO City Council again seeking to ban natural gas appliances

February 3, 2022


The city of San Luis Obispo is again considering banning natural gas appliances in new homes and buildings.

In 2019, the SLO City Council voted in favor of enacting a ban on natural gas appliances in new construction. When faced with legal pressure, city officials suspended the plan to phase out the use of natural gas.

Then in 2020, the council adopted the Clean Energy Choice Program, which established new energy efficiency requirements for constructing buildings with natural gas appliances and incentivized building all-electric structures instead.

But, according to a recent city staff report, when given the choice, developers are still opting to construct mixed-fuel buildings, rather than all-electric, about 50 percent of the time. That rate is not high enough for the city to reach its greenhouse gas reductions targets, city staff says.

In turn, city officials are again considering an outright ban on natural gas appliances in new construction. During a city council hearing on the matter on Tuesday, multiple council members voiced support for a natural gas ban.

“We tried to be nice and give people a chance to have choices, hoping that they would choose what really is reality, and apparently that’s not going to work,” Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson said during Tuesday’s meeting. “Tonight’s a simple decision in terms of where we want new housing and new buildings to be, and it’s to me not even really a question. It has to be all electric.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think what shouldn’t be lost on this are two things:

1. Residents and Developers want to leave infrastructure for both sources so each individual, residential or not, can have a choice. Maybe you want a gas stove, but want to also have panels and use electricity everywhere else…you would choose. Or a mix of both to have an efficient home or building. As prices fluctuate, you choose the less expensive, more efficient resource.

2. MORE importantly, an elected official just said she disagrees with our right to choose and that our choice was wrong; therefore, yours, the individual preference, must be changed to her choice.

3. 37% of the natural gas delivered to consumers in CA went to the state’s industrial sector, and ***********about 28% was delivered to the electric power sector.**********

I wonder what they will do when they realize 60% of California electricity comes from natural gas? Then the fact that the e-car is burning dinosaurs four days a week will set in.

I wonder what you will do when you realize you are way off with your numbers. Only 37% of California’s electricity usage comes from Natural Gas, down from 44% in 2014. But even “burning dinosaur”, the e-car is far more efficient at using energy than gas-cars. Efficiently generating power from large natural gas power plants at scale is far better than doing it in millions of small internal combustion engines operating a widely varying speeds and conditions or hundreds of thousands of natural gas furnaces in people’s homes.

It’s around 40%, but your point is still as valid as it can be. Add the closure of Diablo and watch electric costs, solar panel installation included, rise.

When it’s cold natural gas is in the most demand for heating. When it is cold it’s usually foggy or cloudy ,so solar panels are providing minimal wattage.In my opinion the reason to push no natural gas is to force SLO residents to invest in solar systems and batteries for storage .Alot of folks don’t realize that when heat is needed most their new solar system won’t provide enough wattage to offset the cost of the solar system and the lack of natural gas .. From the energy companies / city of SLO angle , the forced installation of solar systems means power company does not have to replace existing power grid wires due to the need for more power due to no natural gas. The citizens pay for their own solar systems which increases the current power grids power/wattage capabilities and does not cost power companies one cent ,but yet power company already has protections in place that don’t require them to give energy credits back to private solar owners in future years ,rules have already been passed .Those privately owned solar systems would be providing excess power that power company sells to their neighbors on the energy companies ancient power grid system that can handle the private solar system input …costing the power company nothing to make even more profit .The benfit to city of SLO government is no tore up streets from upgrading the gas/electric grid and every privately owned solar system requires an expensive building permit along with property taxes readjusted to higher level of appraisal due to property improvement .I won’t even get into how many government officials have invested in local solar and energy company stocks ….As electrical companies get away from providing natural gas they are raising the price of natural gas as they are selling less natural gas .. Supply versus demand …The whole picture of the solar/natural gas topic is riddled with nothing good for the consumer, but great for everybody else involved

Thank goodness I don’t live in this SLO City alternative reality. However, I can say as a homeowner with ALL Electric services, it sucks! The tiered rates, etc. have left me with 1,000.00 per month bills on average. Winter is higher $, Summer is higher$ but in between its better but still more than 600.00 per month. The current electrical grid is a reliability mess and how do these knuckleheads think this will help?

I thought that when Heidi Harmon left that maybe there would be adults on the Council, instead they double down on this lunacy:(

“We tried to be nice and give people a chance to have choices, hoping that they would choose what really is reality, and apparently that’s not going to work,” and “Tonight’s a simple decision in terms of where we want new housing and new buildings to be, and it’s to me not even really a question. It has to be all electric.”

Let that sink in. That’s who works for we the people.