Although “natural gas,” (correctly termed methane gas) was once considered a bridge fuel, much of it now comes from the destructive process of “fracking” and its negative impacts on the environment, safety, and public health are now clearly understood. Not only is it an extremely potent greenhouse gas (nearly 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide), but it also poses direct safety hazards from leaks that can lead to explosions or fires. The 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Every year there are thousands of fires and dozens of deaths caused by gas leaks that do not make headline news.

Gas use inside buildings that are not well ventilated also leads to chronic health impacts, such as asthma as well as hundreds more deaths every year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Zero-carbon design, also known as building decarbonization or electrification, means transitioning buildings from using harmful natural gas to clean, renewable electricity.

Community choice energy agencies have begun delivering carbon free (or nearly carbon free) electricity to all customers at market rates. At the same time rapid technology improvements have increased the efficiency and lowered the costs of zero-emitting electric alternatives like heat pumps (which provide a 2-in-1 heating and cooling system), heat pump water heaters, and highly effective induction stoves. All electric, zero-carbon buildings are now not just preferable from an environmental and public health and safety perspective, but also an opportunity to save money on construction and energy use.