What Are Reach Codes?
Reach Codes are amendments to the Energy and Green Building Standards Codes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Adopting Reach Codes create opportunities for local governments to lead initiatives on climate change solutions, clean air, and renewable energy. Cities can choose to adopt local amendments to the Building Energy Codes that are more restrictive on natural gas infrastructure than those required by the State of California. Redwood City is considering adopting Reach Codes to decrease GHGs for new buildings. The ordinance will only apply to newly constructed buildings and not additions or alterations.
Why Are They Needed?
Redwood City adopted a Climate Action Plan in 2013 to reduce GHG emissions by mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The City is in the process of updating its Climate Action Plan with goals set for 2030. The updated 2030 Climate Action Plan is tentatively scheduled for City Council consideration on July 27, 2020. The adoption of Reach Codes is one action the Climate Action Plan identifies to reduce GHGs.
ProcessThe City Council held two study sessions to discuss the adoption of Reach Codes, which resulted in refining a code that best reflects the needs of the City:
- October 28, 2019 - Staff presented a mixed-fuel ordinance for Council review. The City Council directed staff to develop an alternative all-electric Reach Codes ordinance for further review.
- January 13, 2020 - Staff presented a draft all-electric Reach Codes ordinance. The City Council directed staff to conduct additional community and stakeholder outreach on the Reach Codes, including proposed exceptions to the all-electric ordinance.
- January 14, 2020 to Present - Community and stakeholder outreach began in mid-January, and was paused due to COVID-19. In mid-June, staff resumed outreach and anticipate presenting a draft all-electric ordinance, with possible exceptions, on August 24, 2020.
The City Council is investigating an all-electric Reach Codes ordinance, which could include certain exceptions. The City seeks feedback from stakeholders to evaluate how the proposed Reach Codes may impact residents, businesses and developers prior to adopting an ordinance. As noted above, after first considering mixed-fuel Reach Codes, the City Council elected to investigate all-electric Reach Codes. The mixed-fuel Reach Codes provide property owners the ability to choose between all-electric construction and more energy-efficient mixed-fuel construction. All-electric Reach Codes require predominately all-electric new construction, potentially with some exceptions.
To take the Reach Codes Community Survey,