On October 17 the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) will present to City Council their proposal for a Del Mar building code change to have new homes be built without any gas hookups. The SAC has been advocating this for years, and recently has been talking with Encinitas and Solana Beach staff and Environmental Commission members, finding out what worked for their cities and what suggestions they have for Del Mar moving forward. Encinitas and Solana Beach each passed building electrification (BE) codes in 2021, and our proposal for Del Mar is most closely aligned with the Encinitas ordinance. In our proposal, we request that the Building Code in Del Mar be modified to require all new construction to be all-electric. As with our neighboring cities, we also recommend that all major remodels and major revisions be all electric. This means that the highly efficient heat pump water heaters will be used instead of gas heaters. Instead of gas furnaces, heat pump space conditioners will be recommended, which have the added benefit of providing cooling as well as heating with the one appliance. With the recent heat wave, it became clear that home cooling is a necessity even for coastal Del Mar. Induction cooktops are the highly recommended alternative to gas cooktops, primarily for eliminating the indoor air pollution and health risks of cooking with a gas cooktop. They are also much better for fine cooking with their precise temperature control.
SAC did an informational outreach workshop by Zoom on September 12. If you missed it, you can see it anytime at https://vimeo.com/749282579. This webinar explains why BE is important in fighting climate change, reducing our GHG emissions, and achieving our climate action plan goals. The webinar explains what heat pump water heaters and space conditioners are, and why they are much more efficient than the gas alternatives. We also explain what induction cooking is, and why it is better than gas cooking.
At the October 17 Council meeting, Council members will decide whether they want to move forward on a BE ordinance, and if so, if they approve the outline of the SAC proposal. If you are in favor of cleaner homes, please write a red dot letter in support of Del Mar moving forward on drafting a BE ordinance.