CARB Proposes a Statewide Zero Emission Space and Water Standard

Bradford White Water Heaters
April 24, 2024
By Bradford White Corporation

On February 28, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) put forth a landmark proposal to require all space and water heater equipment sold in the state of California to meet zero-emissions by a set date. The proposal comes on the heels of the Zero-NOx space and water heating standards adopted by Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in March 2023, and recent Zero-NOx water heating and space heating standards introduced by South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

The CARB proposal covers regulated space and water heating equipment up to 2,000,000 Btu/hr input. CARB has also proposed two pathways to phase out emission producing equipment, shown below:

  1. By 2030, all space and water heating equipment must be emissions-free; or
  2. A phased approach based on product input and equipment type

water heaters

CARB’s alignment of statewide implementation dates with BAAQMD and SCAQMD has the potential to further exacerbate the regulatory challenges manufacturers and contractors will have to respond to, both at the federal and state levels. Consumers will have to plan for significant investments in their properties to prepare for zero-emission equipment, as like for like equipment replacements that may not be feasible. Emergency replacements will be especially challenging for consumers to navigate and may leave households and businesses without heat and/or hot water for an extended period of time depending on the extent of the retrofits needed.

Apart from CARB, BAAQMD and SCAQMD actions, the state is also considering a zero emission CalGreen Code, to be approved for local adoption in 2026. This code, if adopted would enable local jurisdictions to require all newly constructed buildings to be zero emission.

For more information about CARB, the regional air districts, and CalGreen, please see the links below:

CARB Zero Emission Space & Water Heating: Zero-Emission Space and Water Heater Standards | California Air Resources Board

BAAQMD Rule 9-4 & 9-6: Building Appliances (

SCAQMD Rule 1146.2: Proposed Amended Rule 1146.2 (

SCAQMD Rule 1111 & 1121: Proposed Amended Rule 1111 and Proposed Amended Rule 1121 (

CalGreen: Zero Emission Buildings – CALGreen | California Air Resources Board

Bradford White Corporation is a full line manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial products for water heating, space heating, combination heating and storage applications. The company is headquartered in Ambler, PA and has manufacturing facilities in Middleville, MI, Niles, MI, and Rochester, NH, and a distribution and training center in Halton Hills, ON, Canada.

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