N.Y.C.’s Gas Ban Takes Fight Against Climate Change to the Kitchen (2023)

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New York will become the nation’s largest city to enact a ban on gas heat and stoves in new buildings. It’s a major step away from fossil fuels that is expected to influence wider markets.

N.Y.C.’s Gas Ban Takes Fight Against Climate Change to the Kitchen (1)

By Anne Barnard

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New York City will ban gas-powered heaters, stoves and water boilers in all new buildings, a move that will significantly affect real estate development and construction in the nation’s largest city and could influence how cities around the world seek to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, which drives climate change.

The City Council on Wednesday approved a bill banning gas hookups in new buildings — effectively requiring all-electric heating and cooking — after what council members and lobbying groups described as weeks of intense negotiations. The ban takes effect in December 2023 for buildings under seven stories; for taller buildings, developers negotiated a delay until 2027.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who called for the ban two years ago, will sign the bill “enthusiastically,” said Ben Furnas, the director of climate and sustainability for the mayor’s office.

“It’s a historic step forward in our efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” Mr. Furnas said. “If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”

New York will be the largest American city to enact such a law, though New Yorkers currently attached to the blue flames of their gas stoves and their cozy gas-powered heaters will not be affected unless they move to a new building. State lawmakers have proposed a measure to ban gas infrastructure in all new buildings starting in 2024, but a vote has not yet been scheduled.

Variations of gas bans have spread from liberal enclaves like Berkeley, Calif., and Brookline, Mass., to bigger cities, including San Jose, Calif., Seattle and Sacramento, as efforts to curb climate change increasingly take aim at the burning of gas as well as oil. What made the bill a harder sell in New York — where 40 percent of carbon emissions come from buildings — was winter.

Until recently, gas was promoted as the cleanest option for heating, and proponents had to convince lawmakers that new and quickly improving electric technologies could heat and cook as well and at least as cheaply.

Real estate developers argued that the added demand for electricity in winter might lead to blackouts. Developers — along with National Grid, a utility that supplies gas in the city — said the ban’s effect on the climate would be limited until the city stops getting most of its electricity from fossil fuels, and that improved gas equipment should remain an option. A state law requires a shift to renewable sources like solar, wind and water power, but that transition is expected to take years.

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Still, the proposal gained momentum from a yearlong grass-roots campaign; from candidates running on climate issues for city and state office; and from growing concerns about storms, floods and fires. It also drew support from less predictable quarters: independent energy analysts, real estate businesses betting on green development, and even Consolidated Edison, the city’s other main utility, which, unlike National Grid, supplies electricity within New York City as well as gas.

Con Ed, along with proponents like the Urban Green Council, a nonprofit group that promotes sustainable building, argued in Council hearings that the city’s grid could handle the increase, partly because its biggest strains come in summer, from air conditioning. The shift to electric heating actually has the potential to reduce demand in summers, the groups’ analysts argued, because many builders are expected to turn to heat pumps, which are already common in Europe, and which both heat and cool spaces and use less energy than air-conditioners.

“To my mind, this new law would be the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel industry in America’s biggest city and a world capital,” said Pete Sikora, the climate director of New York Communities for Change, which is part of a coalition of community and environmental groups whose yearlong campaign of street protests and rallies helped bring council members on board.

“New York City is responsible for 5 percent of gas burned in buildings, nationwide, which is huge,” Mr. Sikora said. “As the world fails to seriously confront the crisis, N.Y.C. will take a major leap forward.”

The measure’s lead sponsor, Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuels, a Democrat from Brooklyn, said it would reduce air pollution and climate dangers that disproportionately kill and harm vulnerable groups like Black and poor people.

“When we prioritize profits and property over people, we might as well put a bullet in everybody’s head,” she told activists rallying before the vote in front of City Hall.

Bans on gas hookups are the latest challenge for an industry already besieged by campaigns against fracking, pipelines and gas-fueled power plants; permits for two such plants were recently denied by state regulators. The fuel long known as natural gas, which climate advocates prefer to call methane gas or fracked gas, is less harmful to respiratory health than oil and emits less carbon, but producing it releases methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas.

In fact, the trends have made the gas industry nervous enough to lobby states to forbid localities to enact gas bans. So far, 20 state legislatures, all of which are controlled by Republicans, have passed laws preventing the bans.

But in New York, where city and state leaders emphasized that the law will help the state reach its ambitious climate goals, its main skeptics, National Grid and the Real Estate Board of New York, were relatively muted in their criticism.

James Whelan, the president of the real estate group, which lobbied to slow the law’s rollout and narrow its scope, emphasized in a statement that it supports reducing greenhouse emissions, but “in a way that ensures that New Yorkers have reliable, affordable, carbon-free electricity to heat, cool and power their homes and businesses.”

Eric Adams, the mayor-elect, said through a spokesman on Tuesday that he supports the compromise delaying the ban three years for larger buildings.

The law, passed 40 to 7, covers gut renovations that require new building permits. It allows exceptions for emergency power; businesses like restaurants, bakeries and laundromats; and residential buildings where at least half the units are classified as affordable.

Without substantially raising building costs, proponents say, the law will also reduce air pollution and the danger of gas explosions, create jobs in clean energy and redress environmental inequalities.

A recent study by the think tank RMI found that the law would prevent 2.1 million tons of carbon emissions by 2040 — equivalent to what 450,000 cars spew in a year — and save electricity consumers several hundred million dollars in gas connections, whose costs are passed on to them.

Supporters also include companies like BlocPower, a company based in Brooklyn that installs energy-efficient systems in buildings, and Alloy Development, which is erecting the city’s first all-electric residential tower, a 44-story building in Brooklyn that aims to open in 2024.

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“We are living in a climate emergency, and it’s time for leaders in government and industry to respond accordingly,” Alloy’s chief executive, Jared Della Valle, said in a statement. “Banning new natural gas connections will not only significantly reduce new carbon emissions and improve air quality in our neighborhoods — it will also make New York City a leader in sustainable development nationally and internationally.”

FAQs

What will replace gas stoves? ›

Existing homes could still use their gas appliances, but all new appliances sold in California would be zero-emission by 2035 for installation in homes and by 2045 for installation in commercial buildings, according to the draft. So if a gas appliance breaks, it would be replaced by an electric alternative.

Why did NYC ban gas stoves? ›

New York State can take a nation-wide leadership role by ending the burning of fossil fuels in its buildings. Fossil fuels burned in buildings contribute around 13% of US greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, New York City became the largest city in the United States to ban gas connections for new buildings.

Are gas stoves illegal in NY? ›

If you're one of the thousands of New Yorkers currently cooking on a gas range, you don't need to fret about city authorities seizing your stove—the prohibition on natural gas hookups only applies to new buildings being built after November 2023.

Is NYC banning natural gas? ›

On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council (“Council”) passed Int. 2317-2021 in a 40 to 7 vote effectively banning new fossil fuel hookups in buildings for heat, hot water, and kitchen stoves starting as early as 2024.

Is it better to cook on gas or electric? ›

Both gas and electric ranges have advantages, depending on what and how you cook. Gas ranges offer more responsive heat control for switching between searing meats or stir-frying veggies, while the dry, even heat of electric range ovens may work better for certain baked goods.

Do chefs prefer gas or electric stoves? ›

They Prefer Gas

Professional chefs know what it takes to deliver so take some tips from the experts. To start cooking like a pro, start with their preferred tool - a gas stovetop. Gas stoves offer an incredible experience with every use.

Do you need a permit to replace a gas stove in NYC? ›

You need a permit to to install or alter gas appliances or gas piping. To apply for a permit, you can electronically file through DOB NOW. An eFiling account is required to submit filings in DOB NOW. Register with eFiling.

Will gas ovens be phased out? ›

Will my gas hob be taken away? The Committee on Climate Change said people shouldn't worry about throwing out their current hobs and gas boilers. They are recommending that no new homes are connected to the gas grid by 2025 at the latest.

Should my NYC building convert to electric from gas? ›

There are several reasons why it might make sense for owners of New York City apartments and even entire buildings to switch from gas to electric energy: Indoor air quality, new emission limits, cost efficiencies, and more frequent gas line inspections, to name a few.

Is New York going to ban wood stoves? ›

Apparently a bill was passed in 2019 known as The New York State Leadership and Community Protection Act will come into effect in October 2022 that will make heating with wood and gas illegal.

Is New York banning wood stoves? ›

There's a new law going into effect in October that aims to reduce greenhouse emissions. Written in the law is a plan to reduce wood consumption by 40%. The plan is to do that with more efficient wood-burning stoves, 'as well as increasing electrification of primary heating across all fuel types over time.

Are wood burning stoves still allowed? ›

From January 2022 all new wood burning stoves will have to meet new EcoDesign standards. The clearSkies emissions and efficiency certification scheme for stoves goes even further than EcoDesign requirements.

How do I know if my stove is electric or gas? ›

If the plug looks much bigger then a standard plug, it is a electric stove. A gas stove will have a cooper gas line from behind. The plug will look standard to fit most all plugs in the house. Some gas stoves have no plug at all but this is rare to find.

Can new houses have gas? ›

The government has announced that by 2025, all new homes will be banned from installing gas and oil boilers and will instead be heated by low-carbon alternatives.

Is it cheaper to cook with gas or electric 2022? ›

Electric hobs are your next best bet in terms of efficiency because when you're cooking with gas, a significant amount of heat is lost to heating up your kitchen, rather than your food. However, electricity is more expensive than gas, so a gas hob may save you a few pounds a year.

Is electricity cheaper than natural gas? ›

As illustrated, even when a range of electric prices are considered, natural gas prices are consistently two to three times lower than electric prices.

Which is cheaper to run gas or electric? ›

electric heating cost is much cheaper. A single kilowatt-hour (kWh) unit of gas costs around 4.65p, whereas the average price for a kWh of electricity is more than 20p.

Is it more expensive to cook with gas or electricity? ›

Gas is also a much cheaper and efficient fuel than electric, and the cost of running a gas cooker over the course of a year is always cheaper than electric.

Why do restaurants still use gas stoves? ›

gas cooktops allow for greater control and range of heat.

Which is healthier gas or electric oven? ›

We do know that, overall, electric stoves directly generate lower levels of airborne contaminants. This reduces a potential exposure hazard and associated health risk. If you're replacing your stove/oven anyway, electric is likely a better choice both for better indoor air quality and the general environment.

Do I need a permit to replace kitchen cabinets NYC? ›

Some minor alterations may be done without a work permit. For example, installing new kitchen cabinets doesn't require a permit but contractors must have a Department of Consumer Affairs Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) license.

Do you need a permit to remodel a kitchen in NYC? ›

Most kitchen and bathroom renovations require an ALT2 permit applica- tion, which must be filed by a PE or RA. For example, you'll need an ALT2 when: Adding a new bathroom; Rerouting gas pipes and adding electrical outlets; or • Moving a load-bearing wall.

Do you need a permit to replace a furnace in NY? ›

First and foremost, it is important to make sure everything being done to your home is up to code and it's the law! Not getting a permit when replacing your heater or A/C is against the law. Every licensed HVAC contractor is required and knows to get permits when replacing your system.

Should I replace gas appliances with electric? ›

Gas appliances in your home burn methane. That has a bad effect on air quality, can cause safety hazards, and contributes to climate change. Switching to electric appliances will reduce pollutants in and around your home, reduce gas hazards, and slow the progress of climate change.

What appliances can replace an oven? ›

Here is a guide to 5 appliances that you can use to substitute a stove:
  • Crockpot. The crockpot: one of the best inventions known to home cooks. ...
  • Convection/Steam Oven. A convection/steam oven is available to cook your food faster at higher temperatures. ...
  • Microwave. ...
  • Cooktop/Portable Burner. ...
  • Waffle Iron.
26 Mar 2017

Is it worth getting a gas stove? ›

You can save 10% to 30% in energy costs when you cook with gas. That's because, in most states, electricity is more expensive than gas. That can be quite a savings if you cook a lot or have a large family. When weighing in against gas vs electric you should really be considering the cost.

Can you replace gas with electric? ›

You can't really convert a gas furnace to an electric unit, so you would have to remove a part of the existing heating system and install a new one. Here are the main things that you should take into consideration: You would have to hire a professional gas engineer to disconnect your house from the gas line.

How much would it cost to convert from gas to electric? ›

Cost of an EV Conversion

Converting to an EV costs about $6,000 in parts and about $1,000 to $3,000 for batteries and installation. A more expensive retrofit could set you back $20,000 or more.

Can you replace electric heat with gas? ›

Converting your heat source from electric heat to natural gas could save you money and energy. To upgrade your home to natural gas, you can either install a gas furnace, a gas boiler, or a hybrid system. When you install a gas furnace, you need to replace the heat pump, but you can keep the air ducts.

Will I still be able to use my log burner after 2022? ›

Can I still use my wood burning stove from 2022? The answer is yes! This is a question that gets asked a lot, and it's easy to misread some of the headlines about wood burners and think that it spells the end of the enjoyment of owning a wood burner.

Do you need a permit in NY to install a wood stove? ›

Washington County and New York State laws require that purchasers of wood stoves, pellet stoves, and gas-fired appliances apply for and obtain a building permit prior to the installation of such appliances.

What is the future for wood burning stoves? ›

The government wants to cut emissions from wood burning stoves from 38 percent to 30 percent by 2030. Homeowners will therefore need to comply with new regulations. Eco-friendly models identified by a sticker will be required in most cases. It might be necessary to install a filter or to upgrade to a new model.

Can you have a wood burning fireplace in NYC? ›

In 2015, the City of New York banned wood burning fireplaces in all new construction due to concerns about toxicity of burning wood and a growing concern over climate change. After the ban on wood burning fireplaces in New York City, most city residents who wanted fireplaces were forced to consider gas.

Are wood stoves illegal in the US? ›

Some States, like California and Washington are known to set their own rules, often times more restrictive than what EPA requires. Is it the case with wood-burning fireplaces and stoves? The answer is no.

Why are they banning wood-burning stoves? ›

The EPA has banned the production and sale of the types of stoves used by about 80 percent of those with such stoves. The regulations limit the amount of “airborne fine-particle matter” to 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The current EPA regulations allow for 15 micrograms in the same amount of air space.

Are wood burning stoves cheaper than gas? ›

As you've probably already spotted, that's considerably less than what many people are now paying for gas and electricity on an annual basis. In fact, it means that a wood burning stove costs about a third of the price of electric heating and approximately 13% less than gas central heating for the average household.

What is the new law on burning wood? ›

Use the right type of logs

When wet wood burns it creates more smoke and harmful particulates of air pollution than dry wood. In 2021 the government banned the sale of wet wood measuring under 2 cubic metres. Larger units of wet wood must be sold with advice on drying it before burning.

Do I need permission to install a wood burning stove? ›

There is much misconception around installing a wood burning stove and whether you need planning permission or not. Historically you may need some kind of clearance from your local authority, but with new updated changed, vast majority of cases need no formal permission.

Does hot water heater use gas? ›

There are two types of heaters that you can choose from: Gas and Electric. Gas water heaters use natural gas to generate the energy needed to heat water, while electric heaters use electric resistance coils.

What is the cheapest fuel to heat a house? ›

Natural gas tends to be the most affordable of these options, with the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting that the average seasonal cost of natural gas heating is currently about 70 percent less per household than for households with oil heat.

Does dryer use gas? ›

Both gas and electric clothes dryers require electricity to run, but gas dryers also require a gas hookup to generate heat. Gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat and electricity to power the drum, fan, lights and controls. Electric dryers are completely powered by electricity.

Do gas stoves use electricity for the oven? ›

While it doesn't draw anywhere near the same amount of current as an electric one, a gas oven still requires electricity. The power isn't for heating, but for running the gas igniter and any accessories the unit features, such as a clock/timer and oven light.

Do gas stoves run on electricity? ›

A gas stove requires both electricity and gas to function properly. Gas stoves no longer rely on a pilot light to ignite the burners. The ignition source comes from an electric ignitor located at each burner.

Can a stove be both electric and gas? ›

Commonly referred to as a dual fuel range, these types of appliances bring together the best of both worlds. You have everything that comes with owning a gas stove combined with all the benefits of an electric oven.

What will replace gas in homes? ›

Heat pumps are one of the most obvious replacements. These appliances work using a refrigerant to absorb the natural heat that can be found in the ground, air or water. This refrigerant is compressed to further increase the temperature, which can then be used to heat the cold water in the system.

What will replace natural gas in homes? ›

With minor cleanup, biogas can be used to generate electricity and heat and is used as a replacement for traditional natural gas to generate combined electricity and heating for power plants, but that's not the whole story...

Will gas in homes be phased out? ›

What will replace gas boilers in 2025? The ban means that gas boilers won't be installed in new homes, which will be designed to be heated differently from day one. But what it doesn't mean is that you'll be shut off from all gas in 2025. Millions of homes are heated by gas boilers, and will continue to be beyond 2025.

› ... › Buying your gas stove ›

With a wealth of choice, the time has never been better to opt for either a Gas or Electric stove depending on your preference. Whether you intend to create a f...

Guide To Gas Stoves

https://www.directstoves.com › resources › guide-to-gas-st...
https://www.directstoves.com › resources › guide-to-gas-st...
However, there are also some of us who aren't keen on the reality – mostly the cleaning and maintenance that comes with them! That's why gas stoves are ...
When people discuss gas stoves and electric stoves, it can get rather heated as they decide which one they believe is better. Why not find out for yourself.

What appliance can replace a stove? ›

Here is a guide to 5 appliances that you can use to substitute a stove:
  • Crockpot. The crockpot: one of the best inventions known to home cooks. ...
  • Convection/Steam Oven. A convection/steam oven is available to cook your food faster at higher temperatures. ...
  • Microwave. ...
  • Cooktop/Portable Burner. ...
  • Waffle Iron.
26 Mar 2017

Will gas ovens be phased out? ›

Will my gas hob be taken away? The Committee on Climate Change said people shouldn't worry about throwing out their current hobs and gas boilers. They are recommending that no new homes are connected to the gas grid by 2025 at the latest.

Will gas appliances become obsolete? ›

The ordinance banning gas stoves from all new residential and commercial construction was enacted in an effort to reduce harmful greenhouse gases to zero by 2023. As the gas stove ban only applies to new construction, restaurants and residences currently using gas ranges will not be affected as of yet.

Should I replace my gas stove with electric? ›

Switching from gas to a standard electric stove in 2021 might not even reduce your carbon emissions right away. It all depends on how your local grid generates the electricity that your new stove would use in place of natural gas. Over time, electric cooking will probably be cleaner almost everywhere.

What appliance can replace a microwave and oven? ›

Toaster Ovens – Not only are toaster ovens a great microwave alternative, they're also a great alternative to full-size ovens due to their versatility and multipurpose cooking abilities. Toaster ovens use a similar heating technique to microwaves but are more efficient and often require less space.

What can I replace my microwave with? ›

A stovetop can be used for a variety of things, including cooking fresh food, making soup, popcorn, and more. It's also one of the best ways to reheat food without a microwave because it doesn't use waves of radiation.

What is the cheapest way to cook food? ›

For instance, microwaves, slow cookers and air fryers all tend to be cheaper ways of cooking meals than using an oven. “While cooking more efficiently will help reduce the amount of energy that consumers use, the money they save as a result will only go so far.

Is electric cooking cheaper than gas 2022? ›

Electric hobs are your next best bet in terms of efficiency because when you're cooking with gas, a significant amount of heat is lost to heating up your kitchen, rather than your food. However, electricity is more expensive than gas, so a gas hob may save you a few pounds a year.

Is it worth getting a gas stove? ›

You can save 10% to 30% in energy costs when you cook with gas. That's because, in most states, electricity is more expensive than gas. That can be quite a savings if you cook a lot or have a large family. When weighing in against gas vs electric you should really be considering the cost.

When should I replace my kitchen oven? ›

Lifespan: 10–15 years

You shouldn't take chances with anything that can catch fire. A stove and oven's average lifespan is up to 15 years—occasionally longer if you opted for a gas range. “The biggest thing to note is that a proper stove shouldn't take too long to heat up properly,” according to Paul.

What will replace gas in 2025? ›

The new legislation on boilers that has attracted some big news headlines is that there will be no new gas boilers after 2025 - in newly built homes. So, all new homes built after 2025 will have an alternative heating system, such as heat pumps for example.

Will gas run out in 5 years? ›

In order to project how much time we have left before the world runs out of oil, gas, and coal, one method is measuring the R/P ratios — that is the ratio of reserves to current rates of production. At the current rates of production, oil will run out in 53 years, natural gas in 54, and coal in 110.

Will gas water heaters be banned? ›

California regulators voted unanimously last week to develop new rules that would effectively ban the sale of natural gas-powered heating and hot water systems, a first-in-the-nation commitment.

Which is cheaper cooking with gas or electric? ›

Gas is much cheaper to run than electric. However, this doesn't mean that a gas oven is a right oven for you. For example, if you don't have a gas hook-up for your oven already, the cost of having one installed will likely be higher than any of the savings you'll get from the oven.

Is cooking With gas unhealthy? ›

Natural gas and propane stoves can release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other harmful pollutants into the air, which can be toxic to people and pets.

Which is cheaper to run gas or electric? ›

electric heating cost is much cheaper. A single kilowatt-hour (kWh) unit of gas costs around 4.65p, whereas the average price for a kWh of electricity is more than 20p.

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