BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — Governor Kathy Hochul is proposing a statewide ban on new gas appliances and furnaces by 2030. It’s an idea that’s receiving a lot of heat.
The proposal states that gas stoves and appliances can no longer be made after 2030 for smaller buildings and 2035 for larger buildings. If the proposal includes commercial retail use, businesses like restaurants that use gas stoves to cook and prepare food, would no longer able to buy gas appliances.
Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, is worried the proposal could have negative effects toward businesses.
“I do think there’s a fair percentage that would be impacted by this. Even in existing restaurants, with people wanting to purchase another location, or an existing restaurant looking to sell to someone new,” Fleischut said.
She says electric stoves and appliances take longer to cook and prepare meals than ones that run on gas. Then, there’s making sure electric grids can handle all those appliances at once.
“If we move from all of these gas appliances and move into electric appliances, is there sufficient capacity in the grid to support all of these new electric appliances? How reliable is it going to be? How much is it going to change my cooking time? Some flat out say, it can’t be done,” Fleischut said.
The New York State Restaurant Association is waiting to find out if the governor’s proposal also includes commercial use, which is what restaurants would fall under.
“If it includes the commercial kitchens and the gas stoves and a restaurant type space, we would see them have to deal with probably changing a lot of their cooking methods,” she said. “Electricity is a lot slower than gas, as far as cooking times are concerned… longer to heat up, just preparation and general changes when you’re on an electric stove.”
“I’m sure it’s not going to be pleasant for our homeowners to have to adapt to an all electric scenario. The cost of electricity is more. The reliability is less,” said Domenic Cortese, wo’s the president of Cortese Construction Services.
Cortese says the majority of his customers prefer gas appliances.
“Most people will want and do prefer to cook with gas, we find that to be a trend,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen when the gas appliances are gone in 2030 and we can no longer purchase a gas stove.”
According to the proposal, gas appliances will no longer be made for homes– and any home built after that date won’t include a gas hook up. Cortese says as of right now, he’s not even sure how that will work.
“Most homeowners are going to probably be grossly inconvenienced by this mandate. First of all there’s the cooking side of it and then the heating side,” Cortese said. “There really isn’t any reliable whole house heating system that’s electric, available today. You can do room heating, room cooling, with many split systems that hang on the wall, that have small condensers, those are generally electric, but doing a whole house? A gas furnace is the only real way to do that.”
John Leonardi with the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors is worried how it’ll affect homeowners and renters.
“Our electricity rates in New York State are extremely high. We have some of the highest taxes in the country,” he said. “Between the pandemic and inflation, low-income and middle-income families are barely making it and we should consider the winters we have here in our region. If we have all electric, what happens in a power outage?”
Governor Hochul announced the proposal during her state of the state address Tuesday. She says banning gas appliances will help the state meet its climate goals and will “advance a zero emissions, electrified future.”
“The environment is important to everybody. We applaud New York State, for trying to move forward, but there are consequences that come with what they’re proposing,” Leonardi said.
Besides climate control, the governor’s proposal states gas appliances pose health concerns.
A spokesperson for national fuel released a statement saying:
“While combustion emissions from gas ranges, ovens, and cooktops can contribute to some degree to emissions of recognized pollutants, there are no documented risks to respiratory health from natural gas stoves from the regulatory and advisory agencies and organizations responsible for protecting residential consumer health and safety.”
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency do not present gas ranges as a significant contributor to adverse air quality or health hazard in their technical or public information literature, guidance, or requirements. The Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ) has not identified natural gas cooking emissions as an important issue concerning asthma or respiratory illness.”
The Governor’s full State of the State address can be found here.