New York becomes first US state to ban use of gas stoves, furnaces in new buildings
New York has become first state in the US to ban the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels in the majority of new buildings. This is an important win for climate activists, but it could encounter pushback from the fossil fuel industry.
Governor Kathy Hochul and Democratic lawmakers, who control the New York Senate and Assembly, passed the new $229 billion state budget containing the bill late on Tuesday night in response to rising pressure from environmentalists and climate-conscious voters, as reported by CNN.
The law effectively promotes the implementation of environmentally friendly technologies like heat pumps and induction stoves in new housing developments across the state by outlawing gas-powered stoves, furnaces, and propane heating. By 2026, all new buildings under seven floors must have all-electric heating and cooking, and for higher buildings by 2029.
There are exceptions to the state's budget's gas ban for certain large commercial and industrial buildings, including supermarkets, hospitals, Laundromats, and restaurants. However, the effect on new residential structures could be significant. According to a report from 2022, buildings are responsible for 32 per cent of New York State's greenhouse gas emissions.
Other cities have taken the lead even though New York is the first state to pass such a law. The first US city to pass a law prohibiting natural gas hookups in newly constructed buildings was Berkeley in 2019.
In a statement, Hochul spokesperson Katy Zielinski said the new budget “will protect our families and our residents, while putting New York on trajectory to a cleaner, healthier future.”
The state's new law was opposed by the natural gas industry, that claimed that it restricted consumer options.