Berkeley Existing Buildings Electrification Strategy

Adoption Date:

 The Berkeley Existing Buildings Electrification Strategy is a groundbreaking plan to transition existing buildings in Berkeley from natural gas appliances to all-electric alternatives in a way that benefits all residents, especially members of historically marginalized communities.

The Berkeley Existing Buildings Electrification Strategy lays out research and recommendations on how to address the climate crisis through beneficial electrification: the replacement of gas appliances (furnaces, water heaters, cooking ranges and stoves, dryers, etc.) with clean, safe, and highly efficient all-electric alternatives in a way that results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, more grid resiliency, and lower energy costs for residents. The Strategy focuses on low-rise residential buildings, the most common building type in Berkeley.

The Strategy's phased approach includes specific actions, policies, funding mechanisms, and a tentative timeline to transition Berkeley’s existing building stock off natural gas as soon as possible, and no later than 2045.

The Strategy was developed with extensive community input and applied an equity approach. All people must have affordable access to the health, comfort, economic and resilience benefits of building electrification – but low-income and other marginalized communities and communities most impacted by climate change should be prioritized.  This requires intentionally lifting voices and needs of those who are usually not represented in policy development, and redesigning policies that don’t specifically benefit marginalized communities, even if it upends a preconceived goal.

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