There’s a nationwide push towards electrification of your home.  In some instances, local jurisdictions have already banned gas lines into new construction to ensure electrification moving forward.  But what about the estimated 1.8 million gas water heaters already in use in the 9 Bay Area counties?  Or their equivalent of furnaces and gas stoves?

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has already decided.  In March of 2023 they banned the sale of gas powered water heaters in 2027 in residential homes.  Sale of gas powered furnaces are banned in 2029.  Commercial water heaters are banned in 2031.

This raises many questions that home owners, buyers and providers will have to answer moving forward.  First, is, “Who is BAAQMD?”

BAAQMD is an appointed Board that oversee the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma.  It’s comprised of 24 member who are appointed by County Supervisors and City officials.  Many appointed are also elected officials in their jurisdictions.  They’re most notable for their “Spare the Air Days” and ordinances prohibiting wood burning during those times. 

So, what’s their decision mean to you?  If you’re a home owner, you may want to check on the life of your water heater.  But wait, suppose it’s nearing the end of its life, should you replace it now or move towards an electric water heater and beat the rush?  Well, then, you’d better check your power supply.  Is your main panel updated to handle increased demand of electrification?  But wait, there’s more.  If you need to update your main panel, is it far enough away from your gas meter?  Yes, some cities have new ordinances which require your electric panel be further away from you gas meter than was allowed when the home was built initially, so you’ll need to move the panel.  Estimates on that begin around $6500.

And what if you’re deciding to sell your home to avoid the whole ordeal?  Will there be a point of sale law that enforces this new directive?  Not at the moment.  Do you need to disclose the fact you are or are not ready for electrification?  That’s not required, yet, either, however any seller has a duty to fully disclose material facts and this may be a material fact to some.   Will home buyers seek out those homes already compliant or look for discounts on homes that aren’t ready?  This is a question unanswered and only time will tell.

And what of mom and pop housing providers with their four-plex or larger buildings?  One provider explained at a recent Realtor meeting in Santa Clara that he’s looking at a cost of more than $250,000 to make the necessary conversion.

You can see the impact of such decisions on your Real Estate and your goals regarding it.  To better prepare yourself you need excellent knowledge and experience.  I am available to talk with you about your plans and to give advice on electrification and other issues regarding Real Estate.  Questions, comments or service; call, text or email me.

  1. Gene Hunt, CalDRE 01124702, (408) 887-4731,

CalDRE 01124702.

Look for more articles by W. Gene Hunt at the Campbell Press.

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W. Gene Hunt

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