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electrification of new construction 

The City is 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. Decarbonization through electrification is one of the City’s key strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings and vehicles. 

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 May 2021, forty-four local governments in California had approved all electric new construction ordinances.  The reason for this trend is because building code amendments are more effective and cost-efficient levers to reduce GHG emissions than other actions available to local governments.

Recognizing the need for urgent action, on August 25, 2020, City Council directed 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.

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. 

Staff has conducted extensive community and stakeholder engagement including numerous stakeholder meetings and eight webinars on various aspects of new building electrification, and has conducted study sessions with the Law and Legislation Committee and Planning and Design Commission. 

A Planning and Design Commission public hearing was held on February 11, 2021 for a draft New Building Electrification Ordinance that would have established phased requirements for the electrification of new building construction, required higher levels of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in new construction, and established parking incentives for EV charging infrastructure.  

On March 2, 2021, the Law and Legislation Committee directed staff to split the New Building Electrification Ordinance by moving EV charging standards forward to City Council hearing with recommendation for adoption as a separate ordinance, while directing staff to refine new building electrification requirements and return to the Law and Legislation Committee. 

The ordinance concerning EV standards and incentives for EV charging infrastructure and EV carsharing was adopted by City Council on April 20, 2021.  On May 4, 2021, the Law and Legislation Committee passed a motion forwarding the New Building Electrification Ordinance to City Council for consideration. This link to a slide presentation summarizes the direction to staff from the Law and Legislation Commission on March 2, 2021 and staff's recommended revisions that will be presented on May 4, 2021.  Electrification Ordinance Update April 2021.  

The New Building Electrification Ordinance includes the following changes to the Sacramento City Code:

  • Local amendments to the California Building Standards Code that will amend Title 15, Sacramento’s Building Code to require:
    • Building permit applications filed on or after January 1, 2023, for newly constructed buildings that are three stories or less to be all-electric buildings.
    • Building permit applications filed on or after January 1, 2026, for newly constructed buildings that are four stories or more to be all-electric buildings.
    • Exemptions:
  • A limited exemption for food establishments for cooking equipment only.
  • A limited exemption for manufacturing process loads within a manufacturing or industrial facility.
  • A limited exemption for regulated affordable housing when virtual net energy metering is not available, for water heating only.
  • To provide additional flexibility for new construction that codified exemptions cannot provide, an infeasibility exemption for the portions of the project where all-electric is demonstrated by the project applicant to be infeasible.

Proposed effective dates for building electrification and EV charging standards are:

  • One-Three Stories and 20% EV capable spaces/EV charging: January 1, 2023.
  • Four-stories or more and 20% EV capable spaces/EV charging: January 1, 2026
  • EV parking and carsharing incentives: 30 days from adoption

 

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 2, 2021

City Council: Public Hearing on Phase 1:  EV charging infrastructure ordinance

April 20, 2021

 Phase 2:  Return to Law & Legislation with Phase 2:  building electrification ordinance

May 4, 2021

 City Council:  Public Hearing on Phase 2:  New building electrification ordinance

 June 1, 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 Specifically for The New Building Electrification Ordinance

City staff have held or participated in stakeholder meetings continuously throughout the development of the New Building Electrification Ordinance. 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
  • Restaurant Stakeholders
  • Manufacturing Stakeholders
    • Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative 
    • Power Inn Alliance
    • Chambers of Commerce
  • Sacramento Association of Realtors, Government Relations Committee
  • Environmental Justice Collaborative Governance Committee

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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