In late 2021, the New York City Council passed a law that prohibits the combustion of fossil fuels (gas) for cooking and heating in new buildings under seven stories as of 2024 and by 2027 for taller buildings.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul backed a similar ban on fossil fuels in new construction, beginning in 2025 for small buildings and 2028 for larger ones. She also wants to prohibit sales of heating equipment that burns fossil fuels by 2030 for small buildings and by 2035 for larger ones.
It’s happening in other places, too. California already banned gas appliances in new construction. Berkeley, Calif., was the first U.S. city to ban gas cooking in new construction back in 2019. Since then, 42 California cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, have limited gas in new buildings. Salt Lake City and Denver are also planning to move toward electrification, and Chicago’s mayor signaled her approval for a similar ordinance applying to heating and cooking in new buildings.
Currently, over one-third of U.S. households (approximately 40 million homes) use gas stoves. However, gas stoves emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and fine particulate matter at levels the Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization claim are unsafe, according to a 2020 report from RMI. A January 2022 study from Stanford University indicates that emissions from gas stoves have the same climate-warming impact as half a million gasoline-powered cars. Gas stoves were found to leak methane even when turned off.
Exposure to these pollutants is linked to respiratory illness, asthma, cardiovascular problems, cancer and other health conditions, according to 2022 reports by the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society.
Gas appliances are “a hidden hazard,” said Consumer Product Safety Commission commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
For now, most initiatives are targeting gas appliances in new construction only. Existing stoves are grandfathered in. But for those who choose to switch from gas to electric, the Inflation Reduction Act offers up to $14,000 in rebates and tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades, which could include trading a gas stove for an electric one. The specific amount of any rebate depends on how much you earn, where you live and what improvements you make.
Making the switch could require an upgrade to a home’s electrical system. Because most electric stoves use 220V (instead of the 110V circuits in most homes) and kitchens aren’t typically outfitted with 220V outlets, a new circuit must be run from the electrical panel to accommodate the change in cooktops.
About The Author
Lori Lovely is an award-winning writer and editor in central Indiana. She writes on technical topics, heavy equipment, automotive, motorsports, energy, water and wastewater, animals, real estate, home improvement, gardening and more. Reach her at: [email protected]