Sonoma County to Require Electric Appliances in New Homes

Most new homes in Sonoma County will soon be outfitted almost exclusively with electric appliances. It’s part of new green construction requirements approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

The new rules do make exceptions for cooktops, so home chefs who are partial to gas burners are in the clear. 

For commercial structures, solar panels and energy storage must now be included in new construction. Additionally, the county has changed the plumbing code to allow for composting toilets.

“These building code amendments go beyond what’s required by the state but not beyond what’s needed in this climate emergency,” said Supervisor James Gore, who chairs the board. “Climate change continues to be one of the most critical issues that we’re facing today, and as local leaders we’ll continue to step up and take bold action.”  

The changes are consistent with Sonoma County’s Five Year Strategic Plan to reduce emissions and become carbon neutral by 2030. They go into effect on Jan. 3.