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Last week, the city of Denver, U.S.A. announced a proposal to ban all new natural gas connections by 2030. From The Denverite:

Changes to natural gas rules will come via revisions to Denver’s building code, the rulebook for new construction. The Denver City Council will have to sign off on the revisions. The city is focused primarily on rolling back the prominence of gas-fired heat and, to a lesser extent, gas used for cooking, said Amber Wood, the lead author of the plan.

From the press release that accompanied the plan:

  • The 2024 Building Code will require net zero energy, all-electric new homes.
  • The 2027 Building Code will require net zero energy, all-electric new buildings.
  • The 2030 Building Code will require new buildings perform as designed (performance verification).

This move follows a similar plan announced by the U.S. state of California.

Which other countries, regions, or cities currently have requirements or targets to eliminate or reduce new natural gas connections? What are the specifics of the plans?

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In the Netherlands gas boilers have been banned in new construction since 2018.

In the UK and Austria gas boilers will be banned in new construction from 2025.

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In the United States

Many cities in the U.S. state of California

The Sierra Club has a list of 42 cities in California that have implemented some form of ban on natural gas in new construction. The list includes a brief snippet about the specifics of the rules, and links to the relevant legislation.

They provide this chart showing the impact of these mandates across the state's population:

CA population with zero emission building code

Here are a few examples:

  1. San Francisco recently expanded on their building electrification ordinance, now requiring that all new construction be all electric starting June 1st 2021
  1. Saratoga- Requires all newly constructed buildings to be all-electric.
  1. San Jose- San Jose passed a natural gas prohibition for all new building types, with limited temporary exemptions, becoming the largest city in the nation to do so.

Other U.S. cities

Denver, Colorado (as mentioned in the question)

In January, 2021 the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency released Denver’s Net Zero Energy (NZE) New Buildings & Homes Implementation Plan. From the press release that accompanied the plan:

  • The 2024 Building Code will require net zero energy, all-electric new homes.
  • The 2027 Building Code will require net zero energy, all-electric new buildings.
  • The 2030 Building Code will require new buildings perform as designed (performance verification).

Seattle, Washington

In February, 2021, the Seattle City Council approved an update to the energy code that will limit how natural gas can be used in new buildings and when retrofitting existing buildings. From The Seattle Times:

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved changes to energy codes that will further clamp down on natural gas use in new commercial and apartment buildings taller than three stories.

The ordinance bans natural gas for space heating in new construction of these buildings, or for use in replacement heating systems in older buildings. It also would prohibit the use of natural gas to heat water in new hotels and large apartment buildings, and take other steps to improve energy conservation that include a greater use of more efficient electric heating and cooling systems.

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Almost certainly Aotearoa will phase in a ban from 2025. Currently a draft plan but likely to go ahead: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/green-business/124127933/choosing-gas-for-new-homes-could-be-money-down-the-drain-says-consumer-nz

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