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California bans gas-powered water heaters and furnaces to push “green” agenda

  California is making another step toward becoming completely “sustainable” by   banning the use of gas-powered water heaters and furnaces ...

 California is making another step toward becoming completely “sustainable” by banning the use of gas-powered water heaters and furnaces beginning 2030.

The proposal to ban these products was approved by the California Air Resources Board. While the ban does not cover gas stoves, many cities in the state are encouraging a switch to electric-only appliances.

With the gas furnace ban, Californians will now have to familiarize themselves with heat pumps, which are all-electric heating appliances that are gaining popularity in Europe as an alternative to traditional heating methods.

These all-electric heating appliances are very efficient devices that could help heat and cool homes. But they do have their own problems, such as temperature limits and additional electricity consumption, which could strain the power grid.

This will be the first legal mandate in the U.S. that is designed to purge natural gas from existing buildings.

Leah Louise-Prescott, a senior associate at clean energy think tank RMI, said they were celebrating this historic win as California becomes the first state to end the sale of polluting fossil fuel appliances. “California’s leadership sets a clear example for other states to follow in their transition to a healthy, all-electric future,” she said.

The use of fossil fuels for space and water heating, drying clothes and cooking food is responsible for about 10 percent of the U.S. carbon emissions. California cities and municipalities have been at the front of tackling them for several years now, beginning in 2019 when Berkely passed an ordinance that prevented new developments from hooking up to the gas system.


Cities around California and across the country have since followed with similar policies, including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Chicago.

At the state level, California also led the way. Last year, it adopted a landmark building code change that encourages all new buildings to forgo gas hookups. Earlier this month, the state’s utility board took another pioneering step to end subsidies for gas line extensions to new buildings.

Utilities in many other states do not charge new customers the full cost of extending a gas line to their building. Instead, they incorporate the costs into rates, spreading them across their customer base.

“By eliminating these subsidies, we eliminate a financial incentive that is now a perverse incentive. An incentive for expanding the gas system to serve new homes and commercial facilities as opposed to building those facilities completely electric,” said Clifford Rechtschaffen, one of California’s utility commissioners.

California is far from reaching its net-zero goal

However, restricting gas in new buildings will only stop the problem from getting worse. It still won’t do anything to move California closer to its net-zero goal.

If California wants to hit its own zero-emission target by 2045, it needs to change where it gets its power. Currently, the state gets around 40 percent of its power from fossil fuels.

California’s attempt at being more sustainable does not stop with gas use in homes. It also moved to ban sales of internal-combustion engine cars beginning 2035.

Climate activists have welcomed the news, but there are issues attached to this move.

Electric vehicles in California only make up 15 percent of new car sales based on data from the California New Car Dealers Association. Going from 15 to 100 percent in 11 years would be challenging for a car industry that is already struggling to find enough raw materials for the millions of cars that companies have committed to manufacture.


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