Town Square

Post a New Topic

Seeking to curb emissions, Atherton is gradually phasing out gas, while Portola Valley takes a stricter approach

Original post made on Dec 1, 2022

Atherton is taking a gradual approach to going all-electric to curb the use of natural gas, offering exemptions for residents who don't want to give up their gas stoves. Meanwhile, Portola Valley's new rules have fewer loopholes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 24, 2022, 8:47 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by Eddie O
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Dec 1, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Eddie O is a registered user.

While the move to all electric will occur over time (remember the Ready Kilowatt promotions of the 60s?), it is simply not true that gas and electric costs for heating and water heating are the same if one cannot have solar on the home due to trees, siting, roof structures, etc. Electricity rates are increasing, and though natural gas spiked after the Ukraine invasion and the shortages caused by that tragedy, it's still considerably cheaper to use natural gas. The most recent comparison I did on line was that gas was about 50% cheaper than electricity for those purposes. And electric continue to rise significantly over time while natural gas is plentiful in the US (pending various regulations), and in fact will become cheaper as demand falls due to regulations such as those proposed and being implemented by various Bay Area governments, and indeed, state wide.

In addition, as we add electric demand over time for heating, water heating, cooking, and electric vehicles, unless CA and the US in general can implement a significant increase in generation and storage capacity, we will have shortage. And not also, the currently, electicity pricing is based on time of day. So during the day before 4PM, it's lower. Then workers return home and turn on the heat or AC, do chores like laundry, and cook meals, the price escalates dramatically before 9PM. All electricity is a hidden tax on working families who cannot shift their usage to day time or late at night for their households. Wealthier people won't feel the pain; working people will.

Just my two cents.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 1, 2022 at 4:47 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Eddie O is correct! These "Virtue Signaling" local politicians have made an error in judgement that will cost residents extra $ and is a threat to their safety. You should NEVER "put all your eggs in one basket" such as having only access to electricity or heating, cooking & even back-up electricity generation. Our energy generation is at its limit & our grid is as well. These politicians are naive and not educated in the reality of energy creation & distribution.
A visionary leader would ensure that a fully functional electricity hook-up is made in all homes & then allow the homeowner to spend their $$ adding a natural gas connection if they wish.
But, they people that are making these short-sighted regulations will never be held accountable

Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 2, 2022 at 10:21 am

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

It was very cold this morning. I shudder to think how much electricity it would require to heat my house and all the neighborhood houses, given that a space heater takes over a kilowatt to effectively heat one room. Doubtless our wise city council members have factored all this into their rulemaking (rueful chuckle).

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 2, 2022 at 3:53 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.


Don't be confused. None of these Town Council's have done any research & are only showing their "Virtue" by following the herd! This will turn out badly in the future!

Posted by Eddie O
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Dec 3, 2022 at 3:20 pm

Eddie O is a registered user.

Just to add some additional controversy…

The ONLY currently viable solution to massively increase electric generation, especially during those peak hours in the evening when the sun is low in the sky or below the horizon, but which the same people who eschew natural gas are equally against, is … nuclear. Diablo Canyon supplies 8% of the state’s electricity: one single plant! (According the the Wikipedia article). And newer tech nuclear plants are even safer than those in existence now. We dismantled San Onofre and Rancho Seco otherwise, we would have significantly greater electric generation reserves when wind and solar are not generating do to weather and time conditions.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 3, 2022 at 7:45 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Eddie O:

for the save the world folks nuclear power is taboo. Of course they can't tell you how they'll provided all the power required by their demand we all go to all electric power, but hey, they get to congratulate themselves on their virtue signaling.

Posted by DriveBikeRun
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Dec 7, 2022 at 12:48 pm

DriveBikeRun is a registered user.

Converting from gas to electricity only makes sense if that electricity is reliable, clean, and cost-effective. Right now electricity fails on being cost-effective and on being clean when gas-fired plants must be started up during times of high demand. Regarding reliability, in my three decades in Portola Valley, the power has never been that reliable, and it has only worsened since PG&E installed switches that trip for no real reason. I don’t know where the people that voted for this live, but where I am the power is now out about once per month. Every time I am thankful that I at least have hot water heated by gas, and can run my furnace blower using electricity from a dirty portable generator.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Which homes should lose gas service first?
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 25,831 views

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,739 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Page 15
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,408 views

By Laura Stec | 14 comments | 1,308 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed over $300,000.