Reach Codes Survey and Workshops
Posted on 01/21/2020
The City of Piedmont is interested in resident opinion about possible changes to the local building code. The City held a Community Forum on January 23rd and will hold two workshops on February 12th and two workshops on February 26th as described below.

The City has developed an online survey to hear what you have to say about the possibility of adopting reach codes, which would transition residents off of natural gas heating and increase the installation of solar panels. The survey should take 10-15 minutes, and responses are anonymous. Staff will be collecting survey responses through the end of February. 

As of January 1, 2020, new statewide standards codified by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for building energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions have gone into effect. The new standards include more stringent energy efficiency requirements and solar panel installation for new residential buildings. The CEC is encouraging local governments to adopt local ordinances – “Reach Codes” - in order to meet higher standards for energy efficiency, which help achieve increased savings of energy and money, further reduce emissions, and support jurisdictions in their efforts to meet their Climate Action goals.

Staff is researching ways to reduce natural gas use in buildings and to increase solar panel installations, both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to increase residential resiliency to power outages and other effects of climate change.  Unless residents switch to electric appliances, the City will not meet its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

City staff have also organized four public workshops this month, two primarily intended for building industry contractors and real estate agents and two primarily intended for residents, to share our research and get more feedback from the community.
  • Workshops for building professionals: February 12th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m., Emergency Operations Center, 403 Highland Avenue
  • Workshops for residents: February 26th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m., Emergency Operations Center, 403 Highland Avenue
Staff encourage residents and professionals to take the survey and attend any or all workshops! For more information, please watch this video.


After the Forum and workshops, the City will take community feedback into account as it develops its final reach code recommendations to go to Council. The City encourages any interested residents and/or building industry contractors to attend the Forum and workshops and give their feedback.

For more information, please contact CivicSpark Climate Fellow Justin Szasz at jszasz@piedmont.ca.gov or Building Official Craig Griffin at cgriffin@piedmont.ca.gov.