How City Policy Can Reduce Gas Use

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In July 2019, the city council in Berkeley, California, adopted a new ordinance banning new gas hookups for multifamily buildings. Cities in other regions, like Minneapolis, Minn., have publicly expressed concern that addressing the climate crisis requires similarly urgent action. But what can cities do if they’re not ready to jump to an outright ban?

In this webinar, Institute for Local Self-Reliance Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell is joined by Karl Rábago of the Pace Energy and Climate Center to discuss city-level strategies to reduce gas use. Karl covers the basics of how gas delivery works to cities and wraps up with a discussion of a “zero net gas” policy that would require new gas users to offset their gas use elsewhere on the city’s gas network. John’s presentation addresses several additional options that cities can consider.

Download the slides or view the entire presentation below.

Want to hear more about Berkeley’s gas ban? Listen to this recent podcast interview with city council member Kate Harrison and zero net energy designer Sean Armstrong on Local Energy Rules or subscribe to the podcast: Apple | Stitcher | Android | RSS


For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter, our energy work on Facebook, or sign up to get the Energy Democracy weekly update

Photo credit: John Farrell

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John Farrell

John directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (, and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at

John Farrell has 518 posts and counting. See all posts by John Farrell