Get Big Pivots

Methane mandate would apply to all new buildings and major remodels — with just a few exceptions.

 

Last June, the city council in Boulder asked the city staff to explore a ban on gas in new and remodeled buildings. On Nov. 9, they heard the details of what that ban could look like.

The proposal would require electricity for space and water heating in all new residential and commercial construction, including major remodels. In this case, major would be defined as more than 50% of the floor space or those replacing major mechanical equipment.

The Boulder Reporting Lab explains that there would be exceptions: commercial kitchens could still use gas stoves, and laboratories and hospitals could use gas where necessary. But those buildings would have to offset any gas emissions with onsite solar.

The city staff will present the final draft of the proposed update to the city’s energy code to the municipal Planning Board on Jan. 2. After that, the council will get to review it. The staff members said they think this could go into effect on July 1.

Crested Butte was Colorado’s first jurisdiction to ban natural gas in new construction, but the ban has not yet had an effect, as no homes have been constructed under the law. Denver’s ban on gas in furnace and water heating in commercial and multifamily construction will become law in 2024.

Other jurisdictions in Colorado, including those in the Vail and Aspen areas, have been discussing similar moves, as have others in Boulder County.

In other words, the usual suspects.

Allen Best
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