Get Off Fossil Fuels

Los Angeles to phase out gas appliances in new buildings

Gas stove burners
Raw Pixel | Public Domain

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to phase out gas in new construction for commercial & residential buildings — a major step toward securing healthy homes, clean air & tackling the city’s largest source of climate pollution.

CALPIRG applauds this action as an important step to address air pollution from burning gas in our homes.

Burning gas for cooking releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and particulate matter. Just running a stove for mere minutes with poor ventilation can lead to concentrations of these unsafe pollutants that exceed the EPA’s air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide outdoors— and these pollutants are released in your home. Exposure over time can cause asthma to develop, especially in children, and worsen symptoms for people with preexisting respiratory illnesses.

Gas production also has very negative environmental impacts, as the gas used in our homes is mainly composed of methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  A recent study from Stanford estimates that the amount of methane emitted annually from gas stoves alone is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide pollution from half a million cars driving for one year.

This is why it’s important that communities like Los Angeles lead the way in the transition to clean, electric homes.

Under the ordinance, buildings are prohibited from having combustion equipment, gas piping, or fuel gas for purposes such as space and water heating, cooking appliances and drying clothes. Electricity must be the sole source of energy for all lighting, appliances and equipment

The requirement applies to buildings approved after April 1, and affordable housing projects approved after June 1 of next year. Accessory dwelling units and cooking equipment for restaurants are exempt.

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