iPlug
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:19 pm

It was funny more than anything, but it turns out the joke is on me.

This discussion triggered me to go back and do some more reading. When I called PG&E customer service a few months ago, they told me the gas portion of the climate credit was also twice a year as with electric service. Turns out, it is not:

The electric credit is applied twice a year in April and October, while the natural gas credit only applies once a year in April.

https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/climatecredit/

So this means I instead lose about ~$10/year at the current climate credit rate by leaving gas service on my account. It's not much, but next week I will be calling PG&E to officially cancel my gas service.
'19 Model 3 SR+ (own), '19 Leaf SV (leased), '12 Plug-in Prius (sold 3/19), '16 Leaf SV (prior lease), 11.43kW Solar PV (16MWh/yr real production), 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater, Induction Cooktop

GRA
Posts: 10709
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:00 pm

iPlug wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:19 pm
It was funny more than anything, but it turns out the joke is on me.

This discussion triggered me to go back and do some more reading. When I called PG&E customer service a few months ago, they told me the gas portion of the climate credit was also twice a year as with electric service. Turns out, it is not:

The electric credit is applied twice a year in April and October, while the natural gas credit only applies once a year in April.

https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/climatecredit/

So this means I instead lose about ~$10/year at the current climate credit rate by leaving gas service on my account. It's not much, but next week I will be calling PG&E to officially cancel my gas service.

If it works for you go for it, but I'd consider $10/year ridiculously cheap insurance for prolonged power outages. How much storage do you have? My apologies if you've gone completely off all gas heating and appliances - you may have mentioned it way up in the thread, but the prolonged digression over cooktop and oven efficiency makes me disinclined to re-read it all :lol:
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

iPlug
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:20 pm

GRA wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:00 pm
If it works for you go for it, but I'd consider $10/year ridiculously cheap insurance for prolonged power outages. How much storage do you have? My apologies if you've gone completely off all gas heating and appliances - you may have mentioned it way up in the thread, but the prolonged digression over cooktop and oven efficiency makes me disinclined to re-read it all :lol:
Storage? We never had that for NG. Are some people doing that? Most home gas storage is with large propane tanks for those who don't have NG piped in, no?

We do have a couple 20 lb. propane tanks for the ~5x/year BBQs and on hand for an emergency to boil pool water for drinking if needed. Suppose it could be nice to plumb NG to BBQ, but the most likely scenario for having a prolonged power outage here would be a major earthquake that would also most likely take out natural gas supply.

Our water heater and HVAC are each heat pumps, and cooktop is induction so can't switch back to NG for those. Utility room is plumbed for NG and 240V, but we use a non-heat pump electric clothes dryer. We still have a NG fireplace that we never used, which could be useful to warm the local area if power was out during winter, except I think the ignition is electric. IIRC, all NG main appliances these days don't work without electricity.

The economics of home batteries currently leaves much to be excited about. However, in a few years, hopefully we will have such "storage" that would allow us to decouple from the grid during power outages and buffer and recharge from our solar PV.
'19 Model 3 SR+ (own), '19 Leaf SV (leased), '12 Plug-in Prius (sold 3/19), '16 Leaf SV (prior lease), 11.43kW Solar PV (16MWh/yr real production), 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater, Induction Cooktop

GRA
Posts: 10709
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:45 pm

iPlug wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:20 pm
GRA wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:00 pm
If it works for you go for it, but I'd consider $10/year ridiculously cheap insurance for prolonged power outages. How much storage do you have? My apologies if you've gone completely off all gas heating and appliances - you may have mentioned it way up in the thread, but the prolonged digression over cooktop and oven efficiency makes me disinclined to re-read it all :lol:
Storage? We never had that for NG. Are some people doing that? Most home gas storage is with large propane tanks for those who don't have NG piped in, no?

I meant battery storage, if you were completely off NG.

iPlug wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:20 pm
We do have a couple 20 lb. propane tanks for the ~5x/year BBQs and on hand for an emergency to boil pool water for drinking if needed. Suppose it could be nice to plumb NG to BBQ, but the most likely scenario for having a prolonged power outage here would be a major earthquake that would also most likely take out natural gas supply.

Same here as far as prolonged outages, although we do seem to get a couple lasting at least a few hours every winter, usually because someone took out a power pole with their car (had one of those last night a couple of blocks from me). And there was an un-related semi-major fire nearby a couple of hours before that which forced PG&E to shut off power for that block while it was being fought, and that seemed to cause cascading intermittent failures for a few hours afterwards, including on my block. But as you say, if you've got a gas BBQ you can still heat water and cook even if you've otherwise have all-electric appliances; I rely on my backpacking stove for that.

iPlug wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:20 pm
Our water heater and HVAC are each heat pumps, and cooktop is induction so can't switch back to NG for those. Utility room is plumbed for NG and 240V, but we use a non-heat pump electric clothes dryer. We still have a NG fireplace that we never used, which could be useful to warm the local area if power was out during winter, except I think the ignition is electric. IIRC, all NG main appliances these days don't work without electricity.

My understanding is that you can still manually light the burners but not the oven on gas ranges with electronic ignition - I was able to do so this past winter for my neighbor in the main house, when she couldn't light it electrically when our power went out for most of a day. If this source is current that still applies:
GAS RANGE OR COOKTOP - LIGHTING ELECTRIC IGNITION DURING A POWER FAILURE

In the case of a power outage, you can light the surface burners with a match on your electric ignition gas or dual fuel range or gas cooktop. Hold a lighted match to the burner, then turn the knob to the low position. Use extreme caution when lighting the burners this way.

The oven of your gas range is lit by electric ignition, eliminating the need for standing pilots. 1990 and newer gas ovens cannot be lit without power supplied to it.
https://products.geappliances.com/appli ... ntId=19226

My own range is older and has pilot lights (I shut them off from about April to November), so it isn't an issue for me.

iPlug wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:20 pm
The economics of home batteries currently leaves much to be excited about. However, in a few years, hopefully we will have such "storage" that would allow us to decouple from the grid during power outages and buffer and recharge from our solar PV.

I think they're getting close, but in areas like both of ours where prolonged power outages aren't routine but 'the big one' will likely take electricity and gas out for days if not weeks, storage is hard to justify unless you've got enough to disconnect completely, and that's fairly big bucks, although you can obviously reduce your loads to essentials during that period. The systems I used to design normally had 3-10 days of autonomy, stretchable to infinity depending on just how much demand reduction and load-shifting the owners were willing/able to do. PV has come down a lot since I was selling off-grid systems 25 years ago, but batteries haven't (much) on a $/kWh basis, although they have gotten better technically (Li-ion instead of L-A, NiCd or NiFe).
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 10709
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:52 pm

KTVU:
San Jose could become largest US city to ban natural gas in new construction
http://www.ktvu.com/news/ktvu-local-new ... nstruction
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 10709
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:09 pm

Some more details of San Jose's ban in this Reuters' article:
San Jose moves to ban natural gas in new residential buildings
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKBN1W302J
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

iPlug
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:47 pm

Air sourced heat pumps are a no brainer for new residential construction in the very moderate climates of coastal CA cities.

All new residential construction will already be net zero electricity with mandatory solar PV. So besides being an environmentally friendly choice, it will also save the home owner in install + lifetime operating costs compared to NG.
'19 Model 3 SR+ (own), '19 Leaf SV (leased), '12 Plug-in Prius (sold 3/19), '16 Leaf SV (prior lease), 11.43kW Solar PV (16MWh/yr real production), 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater, Induction Cooktop

GRA
Posts: 10709
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Berkeley, CA becoming first city in U.S. to ban natural gas in new buildings

Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:19 pm

iPlug wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:47 pm
Air sourced heat pumps are a no brainer for new residential construction in the very moderate climates of coastal CA cities.

All new residential construction will already be net zero electricity with mandatory solar PV. So besides being an environmentally friendly choice, it will also save the home owner in install + lifetime operating costs compared to NG.

Agreed.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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