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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 9:54 PM
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Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings, the first U.S. city to do so

Berkeley bans natural gas in new buildings, the first U.S. city to do so
By ALI TADAYON

Quote:
BERKELEY — Keeping its reputation of leading the country in environmental policies, Berkeley is banning natural gas in new buildings starting next year, becoming the first city in the country to do so.

The move unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday comes as part of Berkeley’s move to become greener and do its part to fight climate change. The city had adopted a lofty plan in 2009 to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions to 33 percent of what they were in 2000 by 2020, but the city has only managed to reduce emissions by 15 percent, said Councilwoman Kate Harrison, who proposed the ordinance.

Natural gas appliances account for 27 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, Harrison said.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/07...new-buildings/

Now that is WOKE, gang.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 10:06 PM
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This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Chef View Post
This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.
Under Berkeley's law, building owners would still be able to apply for exemptions: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/74505...t-climate-push

Obviously for homeowners who don't care about having a gas stove, this will be great. Electric water heaters are becoming more and more popular, so it's possible that more people will start making their homes all electric.
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Obviously for homeowners who don't care about having a gas stove, this will be great. Electric water heaters are becoming more and more popular, so it's possible that more people will start making their homes all electric.
And run headfirst into California's high electricity rates. And prayers for them if they have a time-of-use plan...
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Under Berkeley's law, building owners would still be able to apply for exemptions: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/74505...t-climate-push
This. It's starting with homes and small apartments. After energy efficiency analyses, it may include commercial spaces, but restaurant owners will be able to apply for exemptions.

But of course, everyone here overlooks this and just has to inject their personal political views into this discussion.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 11:11 PM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Under Berkeley's law, building owners would still be able to apply for exemptions: https://www.npr.org/2019/08/05/74505...t-climate-push

Obviously for homeowners who don't care about having a gas stove, this will be great. Electric water heaters are becoming more and more popular, so it's possible that more people will start making their homes all electric.
Oh yes...applying with the government to receive exemptions...one of my favorite pastimes! Begging the government for permission, love it.

Why is this great for homeowners? Choice seems better than no choice.

Btw..I love your signature. Big words from a guy that ran his country off of oil revenue LOL
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 1:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Chef View Post
This is really going to screw up the restaurant industry in Berkeley. Restaurants will be forced to cook with electric ranges, which are extremely impractical in commercial settings, or induction, which is very expensive.
I know you're a chef, but I had for several years one of the highest-end restaurants in this city in one of my buildings and the chef there was cooking with electric ranges. And it worked perfectly well, AFAIK. Your thoughts on this, out of curiosity?
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 4:27 AM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post

Unsuprisingly, some 50 other California cities are considering making the same change. Nobody seems to oppose this, except right-wing forum culture warriors seeking to embrace fossil fuels, because MAGA.
I am not a right wing forum cultural warrior, I am a socialist, but I am also a pragmatist who has worked in and run restaurant kitchens for three decades. Perhaps you shouldn't paint all those who disagree with you with the same ad hominem MAGA brush. Cooking on conventional electric stoves is awful and induction burners are an expensive toy for the bourgeoisie. After we have stopped using gas for everything else, we will still probably be using it for cooking.

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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
I know you're a chef, but I had for several years one of the highest-end restaurants in this city in one of my buildings and the chef there was cooking with electric ranges. And it worked perfectly well, AFAIK. Your thoughts on this, out of curiosity?
The problem is the nature of the heat. When you turn a gas burner up or down you get an immediate change in the temperature of the burner. With a standard electric range the heating element gradually heats up and cools down. This means it is easier to have precise control of the temperature of your pans with gas. When you are working a saute station having your pans at the temperature you want them is important in cooking things correctly. I've worked on electric ranges before. The challenge is that you have to anticipate the speed at which they heat up or cool down, it is much more difficult and throws off the timing of cooking. Also they will still cook your pan even after you have turned them off. This means that you have to remove your pan from the range and find a place to put it while you are doing other things. That little bit of time is a big deal when you are cooking 8 or 12 pans at once. It is easier to be able to turn off the gas and leave it there. Cooking on an electric range in a restaurant is possible but it is about twice as difficult as working a gas range and requires completely relearning how to cook saute.

Cooking saute well, especially in a busy upscale restaurant, requires a lot more brain power than non-restaurant people realize. Most great fine dining saute cooks are in about the 80th percentile of intelligence or higher. One of the challenges of a head chef is to find people who are smart enough to get an advanced degree but are instead willing to work for $16 an hour in a hot, cramped, unpleasant space without breaks and live completely detached from normal life (which is why cooks tend to be immigrants or weirdos, that is where you find smart people without degrees). By changing from gas to electric and making saute harder, you now may need a saute cook in the 90th percentile of IQ rather than the 80th. That is going to make staffing the kitchen harder.

Last edited by Chef; Sep 10, 2019 at 6:44 AM.
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 5:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
The problem is the nature of the heat. When you turn a gas burner up or down you get an immediate change in the temperature of the burner. With a standard electric range the heating element gradually heats up and cools down. This means it is easier to have precise control of the temperature of your pans with gas. When you are working a saute station having your pans at the temperature you want them is important in cooking things correctly. I've worked on electric ranges before. The challenge is that you have to anticipate the speed at which they heat up or cool down, it is much more difficult and throws off the timing of cooking. Also they will still cook your pan even after you have turned them off. This means that you have to remove your pan from the range and find a place to put it while you are doing other things. That little bit of time is a big deal when you are cooking 8 or 12 pans at once. It is easier to be able to turn off the gas and leave it there. Cooking on an electric range in a restaurant is possible but it is about twice as difficult as working a gas range and requires completely relearning how to cook saute.
Out of curiosity, how did people do this in centuries past, when people cooked over open fires or used wood-burning stoves?
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 5:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Out of curiosity, how did people do this in centuries past, when people cooked over open fires or used wood-burning stoves?
The wood burning stove was invented in the late 18th century, prior to that almost all cooking in the west was braises and stews done in cauldrons over open fires, food cooked in primitive ovens or grilled food.

In China they had a three sided brick thing that focused the heat of the open fire and they would put cooking implements on top.
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2019, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
The problem is the nature of the heat. When you turn a gas burner up or down you get an immediate change in the temperature of the burner. With a standard electric range the heating element gradually heats up and cools down. This means it is easier to have precise control of the temperature of your pans with gas. When you are working a saute station having your pans at the temperature you want them is important in cooking things correctly. I've worked on electric ranges before. The challenge is that you have to anticipate the speed at which they heat up or cool down, it is much more difficult and throws off the timing of cooking. Also they will still cook your pan even after you have turned them off. This means that you have to remove your pan from the range and find a place to put it while you are doing other things. That little bit of time is a big deal when you are cooking 8 or 12 pans at once. It is easier to be able to turn off the gas and leave it there. Cooking on an electric range in a restaurant is possible but it is about twice as difficult as working a gas range and requires completely relearning how to cook saute.

Cooking saute well, especially in a busy upscale restaurant, requires a lot more brain power than non-restaurant people realize. Most great fine dining saute cooks are in about the 80th percentile of intelligence or higher. One of the challenges of a head chef is to find people who are smart enough to get an advanced degree but are instead willing to work for $16 an hour in a hot, cramped, unpleasant space without breaks and live completely detached from normal life (which is why cooks tend to be immigrants or weirdos, that is where you find smart people without degrees). By changing from gas to electric and making saute harder, you now may need a saute cook in the 90th percentile of IQ rather than the 80th. That is going to make staffing the kitchen harder.
I was very aware of those features of gas ("instant" heat and "instant" no-heat-anymore) but I appreciate all the extra info... and it's true that in my case, it was a very small, very exclusive restaurant (always full and you had to reserve way ahead of time) with ONE chef who was one of this city's best and I assume he knew his equipment extremely well. When you're familiar with your stove you pretty soon will be able to tell exactly where to set the elements and how long to wait. He also had counter space to put anything he wanted to get off the heat anytime.

If you have big volume and several chefs, I agree that in this case it's a factor that makes things more complicated (with no advantage at the restaurant level, as you don't "see" the reduction in GHG vs clean electric).
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 10:17 PM
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Electricity is generated from gas fired power plants in much of the world. Europe knows this, that's why they've struck a deal with RUSSIA!!!

You can turn on your all electric range and the source is from a gas power plant in some far way dirty county/state. Forget about all the transmission lines that must be built to serve consumers...

Stay Woke, my friends.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
Electricity is generated from gas fired power plants in much of the world. Europe knows this, that's why they've struck a deal with RUSSIA!!!

You can turn on your all electric range and the source is from a gas power plant in some far way dirty county/state. Forget about all the transmission lines that must be built to serve consumers...

Stay Woke, my friends.

eh, even here in bf georgia, we get a 3rd of our power from nuclear, 10% from renewables, and building two additional reactors which will serve atlanta... gotta start taking steps somewhere to get away from fossil fuels, it won't all happen at once.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 11:57 PM
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eh, even here in bf georgia, we get a 3rd of our power from nuclear, 10% from renewables, and building two additional reactors which will serve atlanta... gotta start taking steps somewhere to get away from fossil fuels, it won't all happen at once.
You're in favor of nuclear instead of gas fired plants? Europe is going the opposite direction [along with their refusal to use coal] -- and that's why we face the geopolitical conundrum at present. Who will supply the energy to an energy dead continent that is Europe?
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 12:39 AM
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You're in favor of nuclear instead of gas fired plants? Europe is going the opposite direction [along with their refusal to use coal] -- and that's why we face the geopolitical conundrum at present. Who will supply the energy to an energy dead continent that is Europe?

nuclear contributes far less to co2 emissions than natural gas. sure it's clean burning, (but not mined in a clean way!) and i think it makes sense for restaurants to be able to apply for exemptions, but it makes sense to cut it out wherever possible.
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 11:35 PM
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eh, even here in bf georgia, we get a 3rd of our power from nuclear, 10% from renewables, and building two additional reactors which will serve atlanta... gotta start taking steps somewhere to get away from fossil fuels, it won't all happen at once.
That's because of geography. I would bet natural gas will replace coal as the main source of global power before renewable overtake it.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2019, 10:58 PM
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not that anyone ever visited Berkeley for its food, but you would have to be a moron to believe that electric induction cooktops/ranges could replace gas cooktops/ranges and have zero effect on food quality. Not to mention that they're also less energy efficient. You wouldn't notice the difference with most crappy american food, but most Asian cuisines need to be cooked with gas (especially curries, make one on an induction vs gas and you will see the difference).

Something tells me restaurants in Berkeley will switch to using portable gas stoves to bypass this poorly thought out ordinance. Good days ahead for vendors selling butane in Berkeley.
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 4:35 AM
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not that anyone ever visited Berkeley for its food
Oh God the ENTIRE CULINARY WORLD has visited Berkeley for it's food as California cuisine was born there.
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 9:06 AM
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Oh God the ENTIRE CULINARY WORLD has visited Berkeley for it's food as California cuisine was born there.
only someone from California would think that Berkeley is significant in the culinary world. Cali has great restaurants throughout the state, but Berkeley isn't anything special.

And if Berkeley was anything important in the culinary world then this wouldn't even be considered. Any place that would consider itself to have "world-class" culinary scene would never consider this. Try passing a law like this in Asia, France, or Southern Europe and heads would roll.

Its very obvious from reading this thread who cooks professionally or at home in a serious manner and who doesn't. Anybody that cooks knows that gas is 100 times better than induction. Turning on a gas stove gets you an instant, constant flame that you can adjust visually.The flames produced by a natural gas stove also cook food more quickly and evenly, because the flames spread themselves along the bottom and sides of the pan. There are a lot of dishes out there that can't be cooked without gas stove. Try making a curry or stir fry on an induction stove (you can't). Watch any food network show and you will never see any chef who takes himself seriously caught dead with an induction stove top.

My guess is restaurants will just use portable butane cookers that are common in Asia. I have a few commercial grade ones at 15,000 BTU and the work great (no gas line in my building).
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2019, 12:20 PM
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Totally agree with floor and chef on this topic. You don't need to be a pro to realize how limiting electric cookers are, esp. in Asian cooking. Try frying rice without proper heat going up the sides of a wok. Good luck w that.
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