Recent articles and letters to the editor have referenced the Los Altos Environmental Commission’s work on reach codes. As the commission conducts this work, we want residents to have accurate information about our recommendations.

Every three years, California adopts a new building code that sets the minimum standards for new construction. Local municipalities can adopt codes that are stricter, or “reach” beyond this base code. Los Altos’ current reach code requires new construction to be all-electric with exceptions for cooking and fireplaces. Beginning in January 2023, Los Altos’ current reach code will be replaced by the new 2022 California Code, which requires building electrification to a lesser extent. Like many other local cities, Los Altos is considering adopting new reach codes to go into effect in January.

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