Washington, DC, poised to ban natural gas use in new buildings

Published by S&P Global: Washington, D.C., could become the latest East Coast city to prohibit natural gas use in new homes and commercial buildings if a divisive all-electric construction mandate survives an upcoming vote.

Many cities and states update their building codes every few years to incorporate model codes periodically developed by private organizations. In recent years, sustainability groups have seen an opportunity to advance building electrification through this process of reestablishing minimum efficiency standards.

Among those groups is New Buildings Institute, or NBI, which released model code language for achieving carbon-neutral buildings in February 2021. Requiring advanced electric heating equipment like heat pumps is part of the solution because the equipment is capable of achieving higher energy efficiency than standard gas furnaces. Electric heating also integrates with other solutions like rooftop solar, electric vehicle chargers and smart thermostats.

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