LA’s Green New Deal paves way for clean buildings

Garcetti wants all buildings transformed by 2050
April 29, 2019 02:30PM

Eric Garcetti and city hall

Eric Garcetti and city hall

Citing the “existential threat” of climate change, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to transform the city’s buildings with zero-emission technologies, likely imposing a significant financial burden on property owners.

Garcetti’s version of the Green New Deal calls for sweeping changes to L.A.’s buildings, which account for 75 percent of the city’s emissions, the Los Angeles Times reported. The plan — inspired by the one New York Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez proposed — would require all new buildings in L.A. to be “net-zero carbon” by 2030, and the city’s entire building stock to be converted with new technologies by 2050.

That would require landlords and building owners to replace all gas-powered systems, dishwashers, stoves and laundry machines with electric appliances or cleaner fuels. Faber O’Connor, the city’s chief sustainability officer, said that task may be easier to achieve than it sounds as new building would follow updated code requirements and rebates, and electric appliances will be installed in old buildings as gas-powered appliances break down over time.

State lawmakers are developing similar plans for buildings. Southern California Gas Co. has pushed back against those plans as it could threaten their business model.

The consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics released a study earlier this month that found that newly built all-electric homes in California can save residents $130 to $540 per year, and that most single-family homes with gas furnaces and air conditioners would save money with electric heat pumps.

Earlier this month, Garcetti proposed a property tax measure based on square footage to improve education in the city. [LAT]Gregory Cornfield