The Berkeley limitations on new hookups for natural gas will likely set a precedent for new construction activity in many cities and some states across the country. While the efficient, electrified replacement technologies for water and space heating are not well known, they are – at least – likely in the basement or garage. They are out-of-sight and out-of-mind. That is, of course, if they perform properly.
Natural gas creates carbon dioxide when we burn it to heat buildings and water. But it also leaks methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere when it does not make it all the way to our furnaces and water heaters. Older natural gas lines are more likely to leak. Sometimes the leaks get to explosive levels and make the evening news, but on a regular basis there are smaller leaks that emit methane into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.