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Hope: the most aggressive reach code in Santa Clara County. Concerns: too little, too late.
home charging for all residents.
The strongest possible reach code - bold and maybe uncomforable
Hoping for aggressive and effective transition to full electrification of buildings.
Hoping that my city adopts an aggressive reach code, not being deterred by the challenges in implementation
My hope is that reach codes do further burden renters and people who don't have money.
Hope to prevent new fossil fuel devices from being installed in existing homes & buildings.
Help get them funded
Hope: Boldest possible reach codes, including electrification of existing buildings.
Concern: educated and engaged contractors who are also excited to embrace new technologies
Equity in electrification efforts
Concerned that lack of knowledge by citizens of my city will pose as obstacle to advance codes
My hope is the most aggressive reach codes. My concern is that people are afraid of black outs. They need to be reassured that there is a work around during black outs.
Economic assistance for residents that want to electrify their homes.
I hope REACH code would include all aspects of green energy, to include hot water, EV vehicle to grid for robustness, gas applicance have a sunset code etc.
Doug Kunz (he/him)
Hope that the code encourages progress on retrofitting existing buildings. Our city is largely built out already so that will be the majority of the work needed to decarbonize
Removal of gas infrastructure
Hope is to reduce production of greenhouse gases. Concern is absence of my city's monitoing the effectiveness of Reach Codes adopted, as there were some exceptions adopted.
Hope: Programs to help landlords electrify their buildings
We need to keep equity concerns and the cost of retrofits to lower income residents
Concern uneducated public will resist cities attempts to advance bold reach codes. Hope is that outreach can educate public to support aggressive reach codes.
Tackle the big challenge: existing buildings.
I hope for full building electrification but have concerns that residents need more financial incentives to electrify
Monitor the results
More education for building trades.
Concern: Opposition will be ready and organized to oppose bold Reach Codes, and the average climate concerned resident won’t be aware of the Reach Code process and therefore will not drown out the opposition.
What is included in Industry?
Will these slides be available?
5.2% seems awfully low
@Robert Whitehair: Yes, the slide deck will be shared.
What happens to excess solar?
Thank you Eryn
Do not underestimate the environmental damage that you will do by requiring the generation & distribution of much more electric power. Also, by outlawing the connection of natural gas to buildings means that you are banning the use of renewable biogas that is being heavily funded & promoted by the CA & Federal Government. Also, when electrical power is lost by storms, wildfires, etc., what powers the emergency generators?
What role will be played by smart panels and what role can reach codes play in assuring smart panels help lower the level of electric power that will need to be supplied.
How large is that space heater? Is that room size? How efficient is it?
@Guy Hall: Excess solar is currently curtailed due to lack of storage capacity, Our hope is that those challenges are mitigated/resolved through electrification, continued development of load shedding/shifting (demand response/management), and continued expansion of battery storage on the grid scale (which is continuing it happen as we speak).
Marc, smart panels are still relatively high cost, but we do think that - especially for existing buildings - they offer tremendous opportunity.
Sarah, heat pump space heaters are exactly the same size as central air conditioners or furnaces. They are approximately 4 times as efficient as gas furnaces (COP around 3.5-4.0)
Blake, are they higher cost that the cost of upgrade service? Can they lower the amount of power needed in new buildings, as well?
PG&E's distribution grid has been shown to be not dependable. We may need to move to smaller grids - like ecoblock in the future.
In my humble opinion, to the extent we need to consume natural gas (when renewables are not feasibly available), we should be doing that at grid scale to generate electricity, not consuming it in individual buildings. Once gas appliances or fuel cells are installed, they get used for many years. We need to stop consuming fossil fuels whenever renewables can cover demand.
The problem with “transition” is that it seems to have no foreseeable end. At some point, the world will have no choice but to cut off all fossil fuel.
Yes, I believe they are the right solution in some cases. I plan to electrify my house on a 100A panel without one - to save money. However, I agree with you. I am very excited about smart panels
Smart panels are particularly valuable for resiliency if you have a battery
Blake, sounds like you and i are in similar situation.. electrification plans led me to ask PGE about upping service. Sounds close to impossible, despite state goals for electrification. Smart panel seems the way to compensate for upgrade difficulty and expense.
Rod makes a good point. It is more efficient to burn gas at a power plant, then use electricity to run a heat pump; than to burn gas in our homes. Gas appliances are the least efficient technology available.
Are heat pumps economically feasible for multi-family applications? Will rental developers claim they are too expensive?
Phillip, that makes sense, and I do already have solar and batteries. So personally, a smart panel likely makes more sense than trying to upgrade service.
Blake, the problem with your argument is that there is no encouragement for utilities to get rid of old equipment, or to seek other solutions. As long as the banks continue to fund projects, utilities will always say they prefer gas power plants. Money is cheap, investors snap up the stock, nothing changes.
Ginny, good question. Heat pump space heating is far-and-away the most common way to heat new multifamily homes. Energy costs are about the same as using gas.
I am wondering if REACH codes incorporate passive solar heating, lighting or cooling design structures
We have been in many discussions with rental developers. Water heating can be a challenge, but for a recent 580 unit multi-family the developer found the construction cost of all-electric buildings to be roughly equivalent to mixed-fuel.
Have you seen the new PG&E rate hike? The PUC is approving annual hike each year for the foreseen future? CA already hs one of the highest KWH costs in the USA. We pay >$0.32/KWH & WA residents pay ~$0.09/KWH. You may be causing an undue financial hardship on all but the richest residents by the cost of new, higher cost equipment. Due to the cost of the equipment and much higher cost of electricity, on the rich can afford the resultant total costs, which then causes the greatest economic harm to minorities and those on a fixed income. California is already punishing the poor with such programs
Mayra & Farhad, most of us on this call are veterans of the Reach 1.0 effort. My big concern is that your timeline will make it hard for us to get Councils to adopt Reach 2.0 in just the 2 months of Sept. & Oct.
Good point. We will take that back. Councils could certainly start earlier. The cost effectiveness results are not required in advance. (due to our recommendation of the adoption pathway.)
If that’s the case, shouldn’t all apartment and condo buildings have parking spaces that are all ev charging?
We are hopeful some cities will start in the early summer. Belmont is considering a 2022 code as we speak.
@Kenneth F/: Thanks for raising your concern. Yes, the energy rates have been increasing in CA. With that said, gas rates have been rising faster than electricity in CA, and electricity rate increases were in large part due to increases in prices of natural gas in the wholesale market due to global supply issues.
Blake I have been speaking to multifamily developers too. They have a built in inertia towards gas. One developer told me that I would pry gas out of his cold dead hands. This is especially true of developers who build to sell. Their clients have the false belief that prospective tenants will not want gas. In the outreach you all do, better public education is a must. My wife and I love our induction stove and will never go back. I found a way to brown tortillas on an induction stove.
Unless you change work and commute patterns, charging may very well all need to be charged at the same time.
My home living will be all electric in two week
Water heating. Yes!
I am already living and driving all-electric and I love it!
Most important to me is technology for 24/7 power
I fear your notion of need for public L2 is excessive. With universal access at home and work, public L2 may become a rather expensive stranded asset. Especially if it is monetized at double/triple the cost of home charging.
I would really like an EV to power my house during dark times. Grid out or after sun set
My house is all-electric ($ 40,000 later - had to upgrade my electric panel). Car and solar next, but need to build up savings unless I win the lottery.
Nice work Kendyll!
As a low income tenant, switching from a hybrid to electric means I will be spending a lot of time parked at parking lot charging station. It is highly unlikely that existing multifamily landlords will upgrade anything.
@Gary Trott: Gary, Reach codes do not incorporate passive design or cooling structures. However, Reach codes, in many ways, set up the stage for architects and engineers to pursue and adopt passive design strategies for buildings and communities.
We have radiant heat in our home and as far as I know, there is no heat pump for this type of heating. Comments?
Elaine, Radiant underfloor with hot water or radiant electric?
I’ve been talking to friends who would like to go all-electric but can’t because they live in multi-family buildings and they don’t have an electric outlet to charge and EV, and apparently converting a condo unit to all-electric appliances is more complicated than for a single-family home. There need to be resources provided for people in this situation.
Should not every effort be made to route the parking space’s electricity to the unit’s meter in order to provide power at the same rate as a single family home, and to take EV charging off the table of the building management?
Elaine, this “Combi” system would work for you.https://www.smallplanetsupply.com/sanc02
White papers, ads, billboards … anything you can do to get the word out to many people will be time and money well spent.
To your questions, I think your highest fossil fuel use is the most important to electrify first - for most people, it’s vehicles. But if you have asthma or respiratory issues (or family members with them), get rid of your gas stove first! And yes, hope to be all electric home & mobility by the end of this year. I don’t miss gas stations!
What is the projected increase in rents that result from converting a small (5-20 rental units) apartment building to all-electric? This is an issue for the mom 'n pop housing providers that are the source of 80% of market rate affordable housing.
For public outreach, staff to answer basic questions about electric service panels, electric wiring and similar mundane but important issues. Many many people are willing to go all electric, but need help. I and many other callers come across this problem often. Help is needed!
Retrofits in converting an existing complex vary widely and can be extraordinarily expensive. $1,400 in new construction compared to PG&E's retrofit cost of $18,000 per unit.
Please remember, all of these Reach Code ideas are about NEW BUILDINGS ONLY. Nothing we're talking about are about existing buildings -- the ones that 100% of us live in!
We need to go beyond reach codes and find a way to retrofit existing buildings
As a tenant with a landlord who doesn't even believe that insulation is a good idea, I stopped using the unit's gas wall heater 3 years ago. Just turned off the pilot. The first winter was painfully cold and expensive because I tried to warm with an electric space heater. The last 2 winters have been not so cold and much less expensive because I discovered an infrared space heater that really is energy efficient. But not every tenant can do - or will do this. My neighbor pays $400 a month to run their gas wall heater, I pay about $40 a month to sit with my infrared space heater like I would sit in front of a fire. About this time of year wearing my winter camping clothes every day becomes less fun.
Yes, Jenny Green!!
What is the difference between prescriptive and mandatory?
Please don’t suggest exceptions for fuel cells
John, great question! Unfortunately at the moment we have noticed that the rents are increasing significantly without any electrification requirement (or other building upgrades.) Ensuring no detrimental impact to renters is central to our planning process. I volunteer as a renter advocate.
Kendall - prescriptive is a pathway in the energy code. You can choose either prescriptive (use a list of measures) or performance (perform an energy model where you can trade off one energy saving thing for something that uses more energy. More windows is often traded off for more efficiency elsewhere in the building.) Mandatory measures are required no matter which pathway you pick.
What are your thoughts about on-site tanked propane as an alternative to electrification for existing buildings? Propane's global warming potential is about 10% of methane's. Many rural parts of the Bay Area use propane today.
One problem with taking the code changes out of the building code and into the municipal code, is that municipal codes are not modified very often. If a weak reach code is adopted in a municipal code, then it is likely to stay a weak reach code for a long time. The building code must be updated every three years, meaning the reach codes will get stronger and stronger that way.
In most of the older rentals I have lived in during the past 50 years, most had old, non maintained, under sized electrical wiring that would not support plugging in an electric space heater.
Bruce, correct about the leaked gas GWP. However, propane’s (CH8) GHG emissions when combusting are nearly identical to methane (CH4) combustion. As such, while I agree propane has benefits over methane, it is not a path to carbon neutrality at any scale.
Best slide so far - we need every tool
@Bruce Karney: Outside the scope of Reach codes, California Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission have been actively studying alternative pathways such as compressed gas tanks as a strategy to decommission or prune natural gas infrastructure for hard-to-electrify end uses or as temporary measures to avoid constructing new natural gas infrastructure.
Doesn't ALMS add significant monthly costs for energy compared to wired directly units meter ?
I agree with your perpective that for most folks L1 is plenty. I've been charging my car mostly on L1 for 4.5 years with few needs to go to L2 and almost never to L3.
My concern now is that these reach code changes will cause even fewer developers to consider anything but market rate multi-family projects.
Some power for all is clearly better than more power for some. I salute your recognition of the value of L1 and low power L2.
This may be a dumb question - Presuming aggressive codes are adopted widely, how do we ensure that the capacity of our electrical infrastructure is adequate to meet the future demand for power? During heat waves we are asked to reduce our usage to avoid outages.
@Guy, Non-networked ALMS is possible (no networking fees or monthly costs). For instance, Clipper Creek has a dual port charger that cuts power in half when two vehicles are charging. It provides the minimum power (3.3 kw) that the new Calgreen code requires pretty simply.
Great question, Vida! PG&E has stated in writing that they can handle the load. They also have a “service obligation” aka “duty to serve.” As part of their deal wit our cities and state, they are required to provide the capacity we need.
Vida: This is not a stupid question. Opposition groups will bring this issue up, and advocates need to be prepared to answer their questions.
Ultimately it seems the load management we are beginning to talk about for EV charging needs to be brought to buildings as a whole.
They will impvoe its resilience. I'd like to see codes that would make my grandchildren (if I had any) say "Thanks for thinking of me, Grampa!"
Phillip: thanks for your note, but somehow the electrical cost would have to be allocated. Wouldn't this require a middleman?
Good to know that Blake and Cheryl. Seeing our power lines outside our home, they look very heavily laden already and just wondering about how that capacity can be achieved.
Phillip, a 4-plex version of the clipper creek unit would be awesome on a 40 or 50 amp circuit.
@Guy, correct. The Clipper Creek station I mentioned doesn’t include billing, so there would need to be another solution for payment.
ah, there's the rub...
So if new construction will be addressed by ordinances are there any things that will still be called reach codes? Are the EV infrastructure items ‘reach codes’ or part of the ordinances? Just want to make sure we are all using the right language.
@Marc, I agree! And especially for retrofits. Unfortunately, the new Calgreen code mandates a minimum of 3.3 kW when power managing, which very much limits the ability of power management.
Philip, Guy….of course that points to the benefit of direct to the unit’s meter wiring.
For new construction, of course
Agreed Marc, I think the barrier of expensive charging to MUD residents is a critical one and we should be exploring ways to reduce these charging fees.
Phillip, the state agencies have a crazy notion of the amount of power that should be served. And CARB seems to believe we should be serving 11+kW!
@Ginny Madsen: In order to reduce (i.e. to level) costs associated with EV charging for affordable housing, cities are currently conducting studies to mitigate these challenges (both policy and regulatory), and we expect the results of those efforts to address costs concerns.
Kristen, while there is a statewide definition of Reach Codes - I have also noticed that ‘reach codes’ is being used a general term to mean ‘enabling electrification.’ I think that’s okay. Whatever is easiest.
Phillip, I believe Calgreen 3.3kw is required only when a single EV is being charged. When the second EV comes online, it can drop below 3.3kw
@Kristel, a reach code is a local building energy code (i.e. a local ordinance) that “reaches” beyond the state minimum requirements for energy use in building design and construction.
I am asking for the strongest code possible so that those cities that want to adopt a strong reach code won’t get into a jam trying to push something no one else thought of. Start off with a weak reach code, you end up with a weak reach code being adopted by the cities.
I will echo the last few comments about pooling our knowledge and resources to make this next round easier and successful
Are TIer 1 and Tier 2 codes "reach codes"?
@Guy, the requirement is that each station has to be wired to provide a min. of 3.3 kw. simultaneously.
Requiring Tier 1 CalGreen can be done through the traditional building code adoption process, or can also be done through a reach code process.
Phillip: I thought differently. Bet a can of Coke?
I’ll take that.
Must reach codes be a superset of the mandatory code in all respects? Or can it as a whole be superior?
Language from Calgreen.
30 B to upgrade the grid (both gas and electric)
When low power Level2 EV charging receptacles or Level 2 EVSE areinstalled beyond the minimum required,an automatic load management system (ALMS) may be used to reduce the maximum required electrical capacity to each space served by the ALMS. The electrical system and any on-site distribution transformers shall have sufficient capacity to deliver at least 3.3 kW simultaneously to each EVcharging station(EVCS) served by the ALMS. The branch circuit shall have a minimum capacity of 40 amperes and installed EVSE shall have a capacity of not less than 30 amperes. ALMS shall not be used to reduce the minimum required electrical capacity to the required EV capable spaces.
Pool to make it all electric
Phillip: you have an address?
Phillip, we need to get the agencies to understand why that mandate of 3.3kW continuous to all vehicles in a load managed scenario is unnecessary.
Next time we’re back in the office 🙂
Already PG&E's delivery charge every month is TWICE what I pay for the actual electricity from EBCE with Brilliant 100. And my CARE stipend doesn't cover that. I am not alone.
Thank you Farhad.
Thank you for this. Can you send the links on that last slide out in an email?
Thank you - very informative presentation and chats!
Thank you so much!!
Thank you Farhad and team!
Thank you everyone!
Thank you for a get session.
It will be shared!!!!