Natural gas ban: These California cities consider following Berkeley

The San Francisco Bay Area could be the next California region to ban natural gas.

Continue Reading Below

San Francisco Supervisor Vallie Brown is expected to introduce a bill in September that will ban natural gas in new municipal buildings, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“My legislation will be the latest step, not the last step, to address natural gas,” Brown reportedly said in a statement.

According to the Chronicle, other California cities including San Jose, Santa Rosa and Petaluma are also considering getting rid of natural gas in new buildings.

Last month, Berkeley, California, became the first city in the nation to ban natural gas from new buildings after a city council vote.

The ban, which takes effect at the beginning of next year, will apply to the construction of all new residential homes and buildings up to three stories.

The city's electricity is mostly powered by wind and solar, and natural gas is used mostly for heating, cooking and hot water.

It follows a California Energy Commission finding that electrification is more cost-efficient than natural gas.

“We are looking at making construction costs lower. At the same time, energy costs will be lower because these electric devices are much more efficient. They are not your old-fashioned heaters. They use a new technology that is about four times as efficient as your typical gas appliance,” Kate Harrison, a city councilmember, told FOX Business’ Robert Gray at the time.


However, according to Patrick Kennedy, an expert developer who builds high-density apartment buildings in Berkeley and San Francisco, the ban will add to the cost of living in the Bay Area.

He said it typically costs about $3 to $4 per month to heat water in a three-bedroom apartment and adding an individual electric hot-water heater in each room would cause that to swell by 10 or 20 times per month, and up to an additional $3,000 to $4,000 per apartment.

FOX Business’ Julia Limitone contributed to this report.