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Building Inspection Commission Regular Meeting

August 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am

RSVPs are no longer available

View Meeting Agenda

  • Join Webinar or Call 1-408-418-9388 (Access Code: 146 244 1063).
  • To raise your hand for public comment on item #7: press the ‘raise hand’ button on the webinar, or dial *3 on a phone.
  • Speak when prompted by the meeting moderator.

Talking Points

Hi, I’m __. I’m a resident of San Francisco.

I strongly support prohibiting gas in new construction. The methane leaks, air pollution, and explosion dangers of natural gas are no longer necessary for the functioning of our homes and businesses. San Francisco can lead the state and the country in building a better future.

As [pick one, or make up your own]:

  • A parent
  • A health professional
  • A renter
  • Someone who loves being outdoors
  • Someone who suffers from asthma
  • A resident of the Southeast corridor
  • A chef
  • … [your job, hobbies, etc] …

Prohibiting the expansion of natural gas in our buildings is important to me because [pick a relevant reason, or make up your own]:

  • Children growing up in homes with gas stoves are significantly more likely to have asthma than those growing up in homes with electric stoves.

  • Air pollution from natural gas use increases asthma, lung cancer, deaths from most respiratory diseases including a marked increase in risks from COVID-19.

  • Electrification reduces GHG emissions from homes by 30 – 60% as compared with mixed fuel buildings–and this savings will only rise as the CA and SF energy grid gets cleaner.

  • On average in the United States, a natural gas or oil pipeline catches fire every four days, results in an injury every five days, explodes every 11 days, and leads to a fatality every 26 days.

  • Efficient electric heat pumps result in lower utility bills than gas for space and water heating and provide air conditioning as a bonus amenity!

  • Induction stoves are fun and easy to cook with, unlike old electric resistance ones

  • Induction stoves keep kitchens much cooler than gas stoves. In the ever more frequent heat waves like the one we just experienced, the extra heat from gas creates dangerous conditions in the kitchen, putting many at risk of heat stroke while cooking for themselves and their families.

  • Affordable housing developers know all-electric is healthier, cheaper to build, and easier to maintain than buildings with natural gas. All-electric legislation that backs up their all-electric building choices to funders who might not be in the know.

[IF OUT OF TIME, conclude with this] Please recommend the changes to the ordinance laid out by Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, the San Francisco Climate Emergency Coalition, and other local groups in their letter to the Commission and Board.

Thank you for taking up this important issue and considering the health and safety of our residents and climate.

[IF YOU HAVE TIME, pick one or a few] It is important to me that we:

  • Eliminate the feasibility exception to the electric-ready requirement and make fully electric-ready construction a baseline requirement for new construction. We know that the future is electric. Allowing any building to be built that will require massive retrofits in the near future is unacceptable. With full electric readiness, we minimize that retrofit cost.

  • Expand the ordinance’s definition of “mixed-fuel buildings” to include laboratory, industrial, and decorative uses of gas. Gas shouldn’t be allowed for upscale decorative uses. It’s wrong to harm public health for private enjoyment.

  • Provide additional limitations and transparency in the exemption process to ensure any project found exempt for infeasibility is truly in the public interest. I’m concerned about the news of powerful and connected people being able to get favors from DBI. We need sunshine on the exemption process, and exemptions should only be given in the public interest.

  • Amend section 106A.1.17 to require that the Building Official find “sufficient evidence was submitted to substantiate the infeasibility of an All-Electric Building or Project design without regard to financial, floor-area, or amenity-related loss unless deemed to be in the public welfare.” The housing crisis is real. And we need to find ways of fixing it without sacrificing our children’s future. The space taken up by a transformer should not be an acceptable reason for an exemption.

  • Create a Clean Energy Building Hub through the City and County of San Francisco that provides for the outreach, resources, and education needed to eliminate barriers and maximize opportunity for all-electric new construction to benefit both climate and equity.

  • Eliminate the blanket exemption for commercial kitchens delaying compliance until 2022. I know that restaurants are really struggling now, but existing restaurants are not helped by giving builders a pass on making future commercial kitchens all-electric.

Thank you for taking up this important issue and considering the health and safety of our residents and climate.


August 19, 2020
10:00 am
Event Category:


San Francisco Building Inspection Commission – Department of Building Inspection