California’s Bay Area regulators voted to ban gas furnaces and water heaters after 2027, three years before the California state ban.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District includes “Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano and southern Sonoma counties.”
If your gas furnace or water heater gives out after 2027, you’re screwed. You have to buy an electric model:
Bay Area regulators voted Wednesday to adopt rules to phase out the sale and installation of natural-gas furnaces and water heaters over the next eight years, one of the most ambitious plans in the country to replace gas appliances with electric alternatives.
The rules, approved by the Bay Area Air District Management Quality District, are meant to reduce air pollution from some of the worst home appliance offenders. The main pollutants targeted are nitrogen oxides (NOx), which can cause acid rain and smog as well as increase risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases.
People will be able to repair their gas appliances if they break – but the rules take effect when existing gas-powered furnaces or water heaters no longer work and need to be replaced. New construction will also be required to have zero-NOx – effectively, electric – furnaces and water heaters.
Dr. Philip Fine, executive officer of the Air District, boasted: “The 1.8 million water heaters and furnaces in the bay area significantly impact our air quality, resulting in dozens of early deaths and a wide range of health impacts, particularly in communities of color. this groundbreaking regulation will phase out the most polluting appliances in homes and businesses to protect Bay Area residents from the harmful air pollution they cause.”
These people don’t think, do they?
You get electricity by burning coal, which is dirty. It always comes down the color of someone’s skin, thinking those people need to have their hand held all the time.
How about the cost? the only cost that matters to the left don’t matter to people who want to put food on their table. The regulators insist it’s all worth it because the change should “save residents an estimated $890 million per year in health costs due to air pollution exposure.”
Okay, how about the actual cost? The appliances cost a fortune:
But the strict regulations have sparked pushback from the industry and Bay Area residents, who note they could sharply drive up housing costs in the region — already among the highest in the U.S. — and limit consumers’ choices when their gas-powered appliances break or need replacement.
Switching to “zero-NOx,” or electric appliances, will cost residents thousands of dollars. According to the Air Quality Management District’s estimates, switching from a gas-powered furnace to a zero-NOx heater will cost consumers an average of $8,030. They estimate it will be $2,820 to upgrade to zero-NOx water heaters.
A 2022 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that mid-range electric heat pumps cost nearly $3,000 more than gas furnaces.
And installation of the appliances could also be expensive, especially if the new appliances require homes to upgrade to electrical panels.
That could run an additional $2,630 for zero-NOx space heaters and $960 for zero-NOx water heaters, the regulators said.
The area hasn’t banned gas stoves…yet. The area hasn’t banned gas-powered dryers…yet. The ban does not apply to “water heaters larger than 2 million BTU/hr, appliances that use propane or other non-natural gas fuels and mobile home furnaces.”
The Bay Area is forcing power grids to handle more than they can probably handle. When the electricity goes out, the residents will have to deal with no power but also no heat or hot water:
“In order to comply with the proposed regulations, we would have to upgrade our electrical system,” Bay Area resident Linda Tolosano wrote to the district. “How do you expect seniors on a fixed income to comply?”
Homebuilder groups wrote with concerns their industry wasn’t ready to do mass installations. Others were concerned that PG&E didn’t have the capacity to quickly upgrade electric service home-by-home — a necessary service for those considerably expanding their electrical use — and noted that the power can go out amid wildfires and storms.
“No hot water in addition to no power would make a house uninhabitable during a blackout,” Bay Area resident Colin Daly wrote in a Jan. 18 letter to the air district, noting he had no electricity for nearly a week in early January storms. “Please leave this decision up to individuals.”
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