Fossil fuel hookups in homes and buildings could stop under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal
By Chloe Bennett
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body of scientific experts, released its latest report on Monday. Among its recommendations is a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions, a call to action that has been repeated by the panel since its first reports in 1990 and 1992. That knowledge has inspired nations including India and organizations like the European Union to push for phasing fossil fuels out of their economies, while others are approaching the climate solution from a development perspective.
As part of New York state efforts to curb emissions, Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to phase out fossil fuel hookups in newly constructed buildings, triggering heated debates about the use of gas-powered stovetops. The proposal calls for standard electric or induction stoves to take the place of gas-powered stoves.
Many New Yorkers are not in favor of the idea. A Siena College Research Institute poll asked voters whether they supported the proposed gas ban and found that 53% of the 744 participants were against the legislation. According to the poll, 39% of the voters support the phase-out of gas-powered appliances.
Here are answers to some of the questions around this proposal.
There are both environmental and health concerns that come with indoor gas stoves. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particle pollutants discharge from stove combustion, entering airways and the atmosphere.
Exposure to pollution can cause respiratory problems and symptoms like headaches, dizziness and nausea, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. Even while turned off the stoves can release methane, a 2022 study from Stanford University found.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that accounted for 9% of New York State’s emissions as of 2017 and is known to limit oxygen levels at high volumes.
As for the climate implications? Nonprofit research organization RMI reports that around one-tenth of the U.S.’s climate emissions come from residential fossil fuel burning. Gas stoves accounted for over 25 million tons of carbon pollution, an RMI analysis showed.
Hochul’s proposal applies to all fossil fuel-powered heating and cooking equipment and is part of the $227 billion state budget for 2024, along with Hochul’s 2023 agenda. The Legislature will hold hearings over the next few weeks and plan to pass a budget by April 1.
In short: It is unclear whether New York will stop fossil fuel hookups in newly constructed buildings by 2026.
As of 2020, around 68% of the country owns electric cooking appliances, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows. That number is lower in New York state, with 44% of homes owning electric appliances and the majority cooking with gas-powered appliances.
Under Hochul’s proposal, fossil fuel hookups would halt in small, newly constructed buildings starting Dec. 31, 2025, and in large buildings on Dec. 31, 2028.
A separate plan that could affect gas stoves comes from the state’s December 2022 Scoping Plan which was formed by the Climate Action Council. The plan recommends that fossil fuel-powered cars and appliances are no longer sold after 2035.
“Consumer and community decision-making is key, and especially important for the purchase of new passenger vehicles and heating systems for homes and businesses through the next decade,” the report reads.
Yes, but not in the near future. The proposal introduces a timeline for phasing out installations of new gas-powered heating appliances, not including stoves. According to Hochul’s State of the State book, the legislation proposes the following timeline:
Jan. 1, 2030: Prohibit installation of heating or hot water equipment, but not stoves, in any single-family home or apartment building of three stories or less.
Jan. 1, 2035: Prohibit installation of fossil fuel heating or hot water systems, but not stoves, in any commercial building or larger multifamily structure.
No. The proposal does not apply to existing gas hookups. If it takes effect, would apply to new buildings.
As of February 2023, the national average cost for a stove installation is between $500 and $1,000, according to consumer research company Fixr. For a gas cooktop, the price can cost between $300 and $1,500 while an electric stove averages between $300 and $1,000. Residents who want an induction stove pay a higher average between $1,000 and $2,500.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes $8.8 billion in rebates for home energy efficiency and electrification projects. Those who buy efficient heating equipment in 2023 can get back 30% of the product’s cost, up to $600. Homeowners are eligible for the rebate and renters can access the rebates if they purchase and install the appliance in their primary residence.
Rebates from the IRA apply to renewable energy products, heat pumps, windows, skylights, exterior doors, electric vehicle chargers and more.
To access the rebates, fill out IRS Form 5695 and save receipts from eligible purchases to include when filing taxes.
Peter Carney says
Could you focus on the impact of the gas ban and prohibition of propane and oil heating, hot water, and cooking devices inside the Blue Line. The existing article sounds like a repeat of the pro gas ban side of the issue. There is an abundance of research on the other side of the gas stove debate that you do not cover here. I am particularly interested in cost impacts. I would also like to the particular research you are referencing. thank you
Not to mention all the fossil fuel that the power plant uses to make the electric for all these appliances.
Wells Horton says
What about an off the grid cabin where electric lines are not permitted on the road. How does one cook and heat water with no access to power?
NYS under control of electric grid…oh goody
Vanessa B says
I made the mistake of reading the Almanack’s “debate” on this topic before this much more informative article. This was helpful, thank you for posting. However, I think for different reasons than the right wing that this change is mostly a political stunt. Of course there isn’t adequate infrastructure in rural places to really support this change. It is 100% a necessary change – but Hochul isn’t going far enough to help communities implement it. It shouldn’t be up to individuals or even small corporations to manage the necessary transitions to avoid climate disaster. I get as tired as anyone of the panicked right saying that the “govt is trying to control us” – but people’s concerns re implementation have merit.
No shortage of useful idiots here.
Yep Big Gov’t limiting tax payers options to choose. Give us the option to choose even at a higher cost to have a propane stove and the ability to grill outside, but no its a force you to, without a choice. And they will just tax the hell out of Kerosene $7.00 a gallon last year for a waste product, now watch propane go sky high. Natural gas that’s out too, just put chemical laced megawatt battery storage buildings all over the place, and solar panel fields all over the country side. That won’t cause global warming to have black heat attracting sheets of glass covering square miles of land. Electric heat pumps only work to a certain temp, after that watch your electricity bill … you won’t be able to afford it. And you won’t have any options, Zero… so keep voting for BS like this we won’t have a country next. I am all for cleaner technology but forcing a 1 way street down tax payers throat’s is not in the constitution.
Gary Algier says
What are those of us off-grid inside the Blue Line supposed to do? Is the state going to pay for running power lines over long distances? Is the state going change their mind on allowing power lines to cross state land to get to “landlocked” home owners?
We have solar for lights and miscellaneous appliances but having enough solar panels and batteries to power stoves, water heaters and heating would be a huge expense. We still need gas, fuel oil and wood.
Mike V says
I suspect that if there are any trees needing to be cut to install the power lines you need, there will be someone who sues to keep the trees. Simply put, you are screwed.
No matter what, if everything goes electric you still use fossil fuel to make all this work including plugging in your car. On top of that, all these batteries that need replacing will make the climate worse when disposing them. Solar and wind make things just as bad for the environment if not worse than ethanol or natural gas. This whole climate change ordeal is nothing but a socialist money making scam! Power and control!! If you do your research you’ll understand the truth behind all of this.. One more thing to add: At what point in history has the climate not changed?
Brian S. says
NYS and the rest of the US cannot possibly generate enough electricity to power all the anti-fossil fuel programs and systems being “thought up” by the proponents in the targeted time frame, without of course, using fossil fuel electric generating facilities. This plan is severely flawed and, just like all the misinformation forced down our throats during Covid, we never seem to hear the other side from those who do not agree with the “so-called” facts, which are all too often opinions and theories. This is a significantly important and far-reaching topic that requires a long-term energy policy to be developed by all interested and affected stakeholders, not just the pro-global warming folks. The right approach is often somewhere in the middle, not at the extremes, which is what this is.
Keith Rouleau says
This kind of rediculous government overreach is exactly what happens when Democrate officials only consider the radical green religious points of view because that’s what fits their agenda of controlling every aspect of our lives. This isn’t about saving the environment – it’s about POWER and nothing more. I bet if you looked into what these left wing radical legislatures have in their homes most have GAS STOVES and GAS Hot Water Heaters and GAS Home Heating! – Because it’s STILL THE most ECONOMICAL way to heat your home and cook with. Ask any professional what they prefer to cook with – Gas or Electric – ALL cook with GAS because it’s the most controllable heat source available.
In most of the rural ADK….we dont have enough electric power now… frequent brownouts reducing power on ovens, microwaves, toaster, etc… propane is a savior right now…. If they want electric, please pump up the power grid for us!
Joe Breighner says
Typical New York Nanny-State. Nobody seems to care about all the money Yokel Hocul is pissing away on a new stadium in Orchard Park. So I guess you won’t be able to get a char broiled burger at the games. Speaking of which the stadium will only be used eight to ten games a year and then sit vacant til the next NFL season.
And to Bob I say you are always going to rely on fossil fuel or nuclear power because the wind turbines and solar farms will not be able to supply all our energy needs. One more thing, has anyone figured out what to do with all the spent panels from the solar farms? Or the wind turbine blades that aren’t any good?
So if you don’t want a gas stove in your house, good for you. But leave your grubby hands off of mine.
Peter Collinge says
Perhaps the best source on incentives to switch from fossil fuels to electricity: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator (And even as electric use goes up the percentage of electricity coming from fossil fuels is going down thanks to the boom in low-cost wind and solar energy, plus maintaining nuclear power at least for now.)
Details on 21 hazardous air pollutants, including dangerous carcinogens such as benzene, found in homes with natural gas: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.1c08298 (A publication of the American Chemical Society)
Keith Rouleau says
This kind of ridiculous government overreach is exactly what happens when Democratic officials only consider the radical green religious points of view because that’s what fits their agenda of controlling every aspect of our lives. This isn’t about saving the environment – it’s about POWER and nothing more. I bet if you looked into what these left wing radical legislatures have in their homes most have GAS STOVES and GAS Hot Water Heaters and GAS Home Heating! – Because it’s STILL THE most ECONOMICAL way to heat your home and cook with. Ask any professional what they prefer to cook with – Gas or Electric – ALL cook with GAS because it’s the most controllable heat source available.
Keith Rouleau says
There are a few reasons why people want to have a gas stove instead of an electric stove in their home. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of a gas stove instead.
Heat Up Quicker
Professional chefs prefer gas stoves because they immediately can be ignited. Therefore, the gas cooktop can be heated up much quicker than an electric cooktop. Food will be able to be cooked quicker and it will allow the chef to cook their meal in a shorter amount of time.
More Precise Temperature
Chefs like to have gas stoves because it gives them more control over the temperature of their dishes. The majority of chefs say that they get a much more precise temperature when they are using a gas cooktop as opposed to an electric cooktop. Therefore, they know exactly which temperature their cooktop is heating up to as opposed to an electric cooktop that isn’t as accurate.
Versatile in Cookware
There are many types of cookware that aren’t designed for an electric cooktop. For example, a Wok was designed to be cooked over a flame. Therefore, it won’t perform as well if it is over an electric cooktop. Wok compliments a gas stove very nicely and provides a much better dish.
A gas stove can handle cookware that isn’t perfectly flat on the bottom while an electric cooktop needs to be flatter in order to cook the food evenly. Therefore, a gas stove has a lot more versatility than an electric stove.
Food Tastes Better
Many chefs claim that their food will actually taste better on a gas stove than an electric stove. Chef’s love that gas stoves allow for more control of the dish and therefore they claim it tastes better.
LeRoy Hogan says
I wish I had an induction stove.
Pat Boomhower says
The best quote I’ve heard was from a restaurant chef/owner. …..not until they take it out of my cold dead pan”
Bill Keller says
“Around one-tenth of the U.S.’s climate emissions come from residential fossil fuel burning”. So let’s concentrate our efforts on the common citizen who can’t afford to fight back. Never hold corporations accountable because they finance your re-election campaigns. Never restrict “private jet” travel because it would effect the wealthy elitist. “Data from the non-governmental organization Transport & Environment shows that private jets are up to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes per passenger, and up to 50 times more polluting than trains. That’s because, in just one hour, a single private jet can emit two metric tons of carbon dioxide”. Electric power generation accounts for 25% of fossil fuel emissions. What will that rise to when residential is all electric?
Point of clarification for comments regarding fossil fuel use to produce electricty. The upstate NY grid, including the North Country, is about 90% carbon-free, thanks primarily to nukes and large hydropower. Google “NYSIOSO Power Trends 2020”.
Over time, large quantities of additional low-carbon electricity will need to be generated to meet demand, hence the need for the large build-out of terrestrial solar and on-shore and offshore wind. A few additional nukes would help as well.