A Ban on All Gas Appliances in California?
The California Air Resources Board has recently passed a proposal to officially ban natural gas furnaces and heaters, with a plan to to phase out the sale of natural gas space and water heaters by 2030. The reasons for the proposed ban are, of course, environmental concerns such as air pollution and global warming, and health concerns, particularly for many low-income and disadvantaged communities that are believed to be experiencing higher levels air pollution. Other concerns are gas leaks which can lead to fires and a number of ailments. Most of the natural gas demand in California comes from water heaters and space heaters.
The proposed ban is, in part, being initiated because of the ozone standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2015, which lower ozone pollution to 70 parts per billion. In August 2021, California passed new building codes that provided incentives for installing electric appliances and efficient heating and cooling systems. In addition, officials in California have pushed several natural gas appliance bans during 2022, including bans on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, and the California Air Resources Board’s consideration of a ban on the sale of diesel commercial trucks by 2040.
Also, during 2022, City of Los Angeles Councilmember, Paul Koretz, proposed a banning new gas stations in the city, and the City of Pasadena has banned gas appliances in all new construction.
The issues of banning gas appliances and gasoline vehicles are obvious, including affordability of replacement appliances and vehicles, and reliability of the State’s electrical grid. For multifamily property owners, as gas water heaters, wall heaters and other gas appliances breakdown, it will be very costly to replace these gas appliances with electric appliances, and many will be required to substantially upgrade electrical service at their properties.