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electrification of new construction 

Recognizing the need for urgent action, on August 25, 2020, City Council directed staff directing the City Manager (Motion No. 2020-0226) to take a number of actions including moving quickly to draft an ordinance to require electrification of new construction. Since then, staff has conducted study sessions with the Law and Legislation Committee and Planning and Design Commission and held numerous stakeholder meetings including eight webinars on various aspects of new building electrification.  See Community and Stakeholder Engagement for a summary of the community engagement conducted to-date. 

The Council’s direction to staff was given following a presentation on the recommendations of the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change (MCCC).  The Council’s direction on August 25 supports Council’s earlier actions on November 12, 2019, when it adopted the Vision and Guiding Principles for the 2040 General Plan and Climate Action Plan Update, including a commitment to take bold action to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and become a leading voice in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change; and its action taken on December 10, 2019 (Resolution No. 2019-0465) declaring a climate emergency.

The City is also in the process of updating the Sacramento Climate Action Plan to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

The New Building Electrification Ordinance establishes phased requirements for the electrification of new building construction, requires higher levels of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in new construction, and establishes parking incentives for EV charging infrastructure.

Decarbonization through electrification is one of the City’s key strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Building code amendments are more effective and cost efficient than other GHG reduction measures available to local governments.

Following the passage of SB100, which mandates that California utilities provide carbon-neutral electricity by 2045, local governments began passing ordinances that are variations on the theme of prohibiting fossil fuel energy sources in new construction.  As of January, 2021, forty-one local governments in California have passed local government “decarbonization ordinances”. 

All-electric buildings have been shown to be cost-effective for all new low-rise (1-3 stories) construction and the electrification of new low-rise residential construction is expected to reduce the cost to build new low-rise housing.  This is primarily because avoiding the cost of gas infrastructure provides significant savings. Analysis by City staff indicates that adding additional EV capacity/charging infrastructure requirements (as proposed in the Ordinance) for new low-rise construction is also cost effective for all development types except medium office, and even medium office is cost-effective when SMUD incentives are considered.  When compared to the cost of retrofitting to add EV capacity/charging infrastructure later, it is significantly more cost-effective to add at construction.

PROJECT SCHEDULE

Item/Task

Date

Law & Legislation: Review and comment on framework and effective dates

September 29, 2020

Outreach & education meetings

Ongoing

Planning & Design Commission: Review and comment on framework and effective dates

November 12, 2020 

 

Revisions to draft Ordinance based on input

November/December 2020

Planning & Design Commission: Recommendation to Council for approval of Ordinance

February 11, 2021

Law & Legislation: Recommendation to Council for approval of Ordinance

March 2021

City Council: Public Hearing on Ordinance

April 2021

 

STAKEHOLDER AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Outreach Efforts to Date:  For a complete summary of outreach related to the new building electrification ordinance, see Community and Stakeholder Engagement.

2040 General Plan Update/Climate Action Plan Outreach:

Staff have conducted an extensive community outreach program as part of the outreach for the 2040 General Plan and Climate Action Plan Update which included the concept of electrification. Feedback from virtual and open-house workshops for the 2040 General Plan showed that the community is generally supportive of efforts to reduce GHG emissions, so specific questions about building electrification were included with the citywide 2040 General Plan Update scientific survey.

Of the 504 respondents who participated in the scientific survey, 65% of respondents indicated support for the electrification of new construction, with 37% of respondents indicating strong support.  As a scientific survey with rigorous methodology, these findings can be interpreted as representative of the entire community, with a +/-4.38% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.

Mayor’s Commission on Climate Change Community and Stakeholder Engagement:

Building electrification was a key recommendation in the June 2020  Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change (MCCC) Final Report.   Throughout the duration of the MCCC’s efforts, input was gathered from the public, key stakeholders, and Technical Advisory Committee members in person and via online public comment. The New Building Electrification Ordinance reflects MCCC recommendations, including the split timing strategy for electrification of new construction with low-rise by 2023 and the high-rise buildings by 2026, and considerations of feasibility.  For further details, see Community and Stakeholder Engagement.

SMUD’s Outreach:

SMUD kicked off its building electrification programs in June of 2018 with incentive programs for space and water heating, induction cooking, and programs for single family and multifamily developers.  To date over 3,000 customers have taken advantage of these programs.  

SMUD will continue to host events and produce videos as well as kick off a larger marketing campaign in the community that will include television and radio ads, and social media postings.

EV Strategy/Blueprint Outreach:

In December 2017, the City adopted its first EV Strategy following stakeholder and community engagement. The City conducted additional engagement in 2019 to solicit community feedback on EV adoption and development standards through the City’s EV Blueprint planning effort, including over 15 community events throughout Sacramento. 

Outreach Conducted For The New Building Electrification Ordinance

City staff have participated in a number of stakeholder meetings. Feedback and discussion from stakeholders engaged in the last five months follows. For a full account of community and stakeholder engagement and input received, see Community Stakeholder and Engagement.

  • American Institute of Architects, Central Valley Chapter
  • UA Local 447, Plumbers and Pipefitters
  • Downtown Urban Infill/Business Coalition/Building Industry Association
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
  • 350 Sacramento
  • City of Sacramento Housing Policy Working Group
  • SacEV Association
  • SacPEV Collaborative
  • Manufacturing and Electrification Discussion Group

Topic-Based Outreach Events and Webinar Series on Building Electrification

The City hosted a series of topic-based events/webinars on building electrification. The purpose of the series was educational, but also provided a forum for city staff to receive input from the community and stakeholders with subject-matter experts present.  The introduction to this series is a pre-recorded webinar called "Electrification 101" which provides essential background about what the City is proposing and why:

Documents:

Staff Reports:

Cost Effectiveness Studies:

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