New York has become the first state to ban the use of natural gas stoves, furnaces, and propane heating in most buildings under a new budget deal negotiated by Gov. Kathy Hochula. This type of law has been seen at a city level, such as in Berkley, California, and Seattle, Washington. However, this larger-scale adaptation is unprecedented. The Governor does, however, understand that people might be hesitant to give up their current appliances for all-electric. Wanting to be at the forefront of decreasing building emissions, Gov. Hochula states, “This is where our nation has to go eventually” … “But I want to make sure that it’s not a bumpy road to the transition.”
The Property Impact
To make the transition to all-electric as hassle-free as possible, this law will not impact existing properties. In addition, it will not go into effect for new construction until 2026 for buildings less than seven stories and until 2029 for anything taller. Buildings that currently utilize natural gas will be able to keep their appliances and projects currently under construction will be able to continue utilizing natural gas appliances.
Designed to largely impact residential properties, certain buildings will also be exempt such as restaurants, retail stores, laboratories, and hospitals. Furthermore, a city’s electrical grid will also be considered in the enforcement of this new law. Buildings being constructed in areas where the power grid cannot handle the electrical output will be able to use gas appliances as an alternative.
The Financial Impact
While there may be some push-back on this new regulation, people who support this enactment are looking forward to a decreased dependency on oil and natural gas and believe that all-electric appliances have the potential to decrease energy costs for consumers. Opponents, however, are worried that the enforcement of electrical appliances, such as heat pumps, will require substantial upfront costs ( up to $10,000 for a typical residential system) and have the potential to not work effectively during New York winters, where residents can see temperatures as low as -2 °F.
The Future of National Natural Gas Regulations
With other state and local governments approving or scheduling measures for all-electric appliances in new construction, we may see more and more states pass regulations for natural gas usage. Washington State, for example, has approved a building code that requires the use of heat pumps in lieu of furnaces in most buildings. Similar regulations are being put in place in states such as Maryland and Colorado as well as many other local municipalities nationwide. With these new regulations gaining legislative popularity, only time will tell how these new regulations impact overall costs for new construction as well as overall building emissions.
Want to be notified of upcoming news? Subscribe below!