Zero Emission Building Code

The City has paused enforcement of the Zero Emissions Building Code. However, we strongly encourage applicants to eliminate gas in new construction due to the associated health, climate and cost benefits. 

On September 27, 2022, Santa Monica City Council adopted Ordinance #2722 that prohibits gas infrastructure (commonly referred to as “natural gas piping”) in new buildings. Santa Monica joined over 60 other cities across California in passing all-electric building codes. 

Zero Emission Building Code Details:

WHERE: Any building located within the Santa Monica city limits. 

WHEN: Effective January 1, 2023 (Building permit applications submitted after December 31, 2022). 

WHAT: The new Santa Monica Municipal Code Chapter 8.38, entitled Zero Emission Building Code, applies to:

Additional Resources:

Zero Emission Building Code New Construction Guide

Zero Emission Building Code Guidance for Architects, Engineers, and Builders

Zero Emission Building Code Exemption Form

Zero Emission Building Code Staff Report 

Zero Emission Building Code Ordinance


Building electrification refers to the substitution of traditional gas appliances (furnaces, water heaters, cooking ranges, dryers), with clean, safe, and efficient electric alternatives such as heat pump hot water heaters and induction cooktops.

Why require all-electric buildings?

In 2019, City Council adopted a goal of reducing communitywide carbon emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality (zero carbon dioxide emissions) by 2050 or sooner. These ambitious but achievable goals initiated a range of interdepartmental City projects and programs designed to reduce the environmental impact of emissions from transportation, construction and landfill waste generation, and energy infrastructure (mostly from building emissions). In fact, 32% of emissions in Santa Monica are estimated to come from buildings, largely due to burning methane gas, commonly referred to as “natural gas,” for space and water heating demands. 


To achieve carbon neutrality, net increases in carbon emissions from new construction and development must be mitigated by efficient design, construction, and use of on-site and grid-supplied renewable energy. While many new buildings are utilizing zero emissions electricity sources from rooftop solar and Clean Power Alliance, the largest source of remaining emissions in buildings is methane gas.

In May 2019, the Clean Power Alliance (CPA), the City’s Community Choice Energy entity, began procuring 100% renewable electricity for the community, accelerating the pace of renewable energy adoption locally and nearly eliminating emissions related to electricity. This, coupled with advances in appliance technologies, make a transition to an all-electric building not only viable but in most cases cost effective, particularly for new construction. All-electric buildings powered by a combination of on-site solar and 100% Green Power from the Clean Power Alliance are effectively zero emission buildings.