San Jose recently passed a new building energy code with the goal of making zero-emission electric buildings the norm. The new code in nation’s tenth largest city is the strongest among large cities and can serve as a roadmap for local leaders across the nation. As a result of the code, greenhouse gas emissions of new San Jose buildings will be cut by 90%.
The code calls for equipment such as heaters and water heaters to be powered by clean, renewable electricity. For high-rise and commercial buildings, the new code encourages electric construction, while leaving flexibility to build with gas; however, buildings heated by gas must meet higher energy efficiency requirements.
They will also need to provide the electric infrastructure to easily switch to electric appliances later. The code also promotes photovoltaic technology in homes and other buildings by requiring all buildings to be solar-ready.