Sep 27 2022

City of Piedmont Climate Action Information

September 26, 2022

Climate Action Newsletter – Special Edition

Climate action is a demonstrated priority for Piedmont’s City Council. The City of Piedmont recently received a Platinum Level Award for Sustainability Best Practices from the Institute of Local Government’s Beacon Program. The Spotlight Award recognizes sustainability actions that go above and beyond state mandates, highlighting creative and local solutions for addressing climate sustainability in ten areas, including energy efficiency and conservation, green building, and waste reduction. This is the second consecutive year Piedmont has been recognized by the Beacon Program. Read more about the City’s achievement HERE.

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Energy Efficiency and Electrification

Reach Codes 2.0

Last Monday, the City Council held a public hearing on local amendments to the Building Standards Code, specifically the statewide Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The City of Piedmont first adopted local amendments to the Building Energy Efficiency standards (known as Reach Codes) in February 2021, amending Chapter 8 of the Piedmont City Code. Reach Codes help to facilitate the transition away from natural gas appliances, to make homes more comfortable and energy efficient, and to reduce a community’s GHG emissions.

Read the staff report HERE.

What are the requirements of the proposed Reach Codes 2.0?

New Construction: Newly constructed single family buildings, including new detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), must use all electric building appliances.

Existing Buildings: Renovations on single family buildings that cost $30,000 or more must include one item from a list of energy efficient insulation or electrification measures; renovations that cost $115,000 or more must include two items. Kitchen or laundry area renovations must include electrical outlets for future appliance installation.

Panel Upgrades: Electrical panel upgrades must include capacity in the panel to accommodate future electrification of all appliances.

Roof Expansions: Projects that include an entirely new level or expand the total roof area 30% or more must install solar panels on roof.


Pilot Electrification Rebate Survey

The City Council approved the allocation of $50,000 in this year’s budget for the Sustainability Division to develop a pilot electrification rebate program that incentivizes the replacement of appliances fueled with natural gas with electric appliances. The intent of the pilot program is two-fold: educate Piedmonters on the options for electric appliances and help Piedmonters make the transition in a cost-effective manner. Rebates will be offered for the proper removal and replacement of natural gas appliances with high efficiency electric units. Eligible low-income residential applicants may qualify for additional funding. The program is anticipated to launch January 1, 2023.

To inform the development of the pilot electrification rebate program, the City’s Sustainability Division wants to hear your thoughts and preferences. Complete this 10-minute survey HERE.

Inflation Reduction Act –

Find out what it means to you

There are still a lot of details to be worked out with the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but some things are starting to become clearer. Rewiring America published this IRA Calculator, to help you understand the available incentives for home efficiency upgrades and electrification.

Discover the Benefits of Induction Cooking

Induction cooking times are quicker, and cooking food won’t send wasted heat or pollutants into the air — for a safer, healthier home. Even more, induction cooking is climate-friendly and will help Piedmont meet its climate action goals. Induction cooktops heat cookware by alternating magnetic energy. Many pots and pans work with induction, including stainless steel, cast iron and enamel or ceramic coated iron. To see if your cookware is induction compatible, hold a magnet to the bottom of your pots and pans. If the magnet sticks, it will work.

Want to try induction cooking yourself? The City of Piedmont is collaborating with East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), Piedmont’s local power provider, to offer an induction cooktop lending program for Piedmont residents. The program started in April 2021. Any resident can try out induction cooktops for free. Sign up for the program HERE.

The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) recently announced they are now offering a $750 rebate to replace your natural gas stove with an induction range or cooktop. Learn more about the rebate opportunity HERE.

Solar Power

The City of Piedmont is proud to partner with SunShares to support your transition to cleaner energy. Bay Area SunShares is a limited-time program that provides a discount on solar and home battery storage installations.

How? SunShares pools the buying power of all 9 Bay Area counties to negotiate discounts from pre-vetted quality solar installers.

Why? With solar panels and home battery storage, you can generate your own power and keep the lights on during power outages.

Why now? Stack the limited time SunShares discount and the Federal Solar Tax Credit which is to be extended to 30%!

Learn more at upcoming webinars:

  • October 11 (12-1pm)
  • November 9 (6-7pm)

Secure your SunShares discount at, only available until November 15th!

Extension of Free Compost Pilot Program

The City of Piedmont has been piloting a self-haul compost program that offers free compost for Piedmont residents to pick up every Friday during the summer months. Given the wide interest and participation in the self-haul program, we will be extending the program for the next 2-3 months, dependent on weather conditions. Staff will re-evaluate continuation of the program in 2023. Compost is available in a dumpster box located outside the entrance to the City’s Corporation Yard located at 898 Red Rock Road, Piedmont, CA every Friday starting at 8am. The compost is first-come, first-served, and City staff cannot guarantee or confirm availability of compost. To pick up compost, you should bring your own shovel, container, and gloves to load the materials yourself. Pick-up trucks must tarp their loads.

Water Conservation

In April, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) declared a Stage 2 Drought. To ensure the water utility meets the needs of its customers, EBMUD implemented the following drought water restrictions which apply to Piedmonters: limiting outdoor watering to three times per week; only irrigating before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m.; ensuring no irrigation causes runoff or irrigating within 48 hours of measurable rainfall; prohibiting washing of sidewalks and driveways; prohibiting decorative fountains that don’t recirculate; and requiring use of hose shut-off nozzle when washing vehicles. EBMUD also implemented a drought surcharge on July 1 and reinstated the Excessive Use Penalty Ordinance. More information can be found HERE.

Prepare for Wildfire Season and Power Shutoffs

A historic drought and the continued impacts of climate change on regional temperatures have set the stage for a difficult wildfire season this fall. Coupled with this, there may be power shutoffs in response to severe weather or rolling blackouts when the power grid is stressed. Earlier this month, California’s Independent System Operator (ISO) activated emergency power generators in an effort to stabilize the statewide grid during record energy demand. The City of Piedmont urges you to take proactive steps to protect your health before blackouts and major wildfires impact the region. Here are a couple of resources that can help you be more prepared:


The City of Piedmont wants to keep you up to date on planning-related issues regarding transportation, sustainability, housing and changes to development regulations that affect you. Community participation is key to the success of new City policies. Contact to learn more.

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One Response to “City of Piedmont Climate Action Information”

  1. Reach Codes 2.0 are a step towards GHG reduction, albeit a small one. Natural gas usage in Piedmont has increased steadily over the past 5 years and next year’s GHG inventory will reflect whether the codes have had an effect. The Reach Codes also revealed that on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, the energy efficiency of the average Piedmont home is 3. In other cities, replacing old buildings that use natural gas with new all electric buildings is how residential GHG is reduced. That does not happen in Piedmont – everyone remodels their homes – so more aggressive measures are needed to achieve the 2030 GHG target. Three immediate actions Council should adopt are:

    1. Expand the FAR by 5% for home remodels that convert to all – electric appliances. The current Housing Element incentivizes ADU with an FAR expansion – why not GHG reduction?
    2. Adopt Reach Codes for multi-family development. This new construction coming to Piedmont is not currently required to be all-electric and could offset GHG reductions achieved by the Reach codes. These will be difficult to adopt and may raise the initial cost of multi-family housing but will pay off over the long-term. This is why the pool is all- electric – it saves money over time and does not contribute to GHG. A win-win.
    3. Direct the Utility Tax the city receives into electrification incentives programs. The city’s pilot program is funded to just $50,000 and that should be substantially increased to help residents electrify their homes. Everything I’ve read about IRA is that the incentives are unlikely to apply to the typical Piedmont income level.

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