The Bay Area is transitioning to all pollution-free furnaces and water heaters
On March 15th, the Bay Area Air Quality Management Board approved new rules to phase out the sale of dirty gas-fired furnaces and water heaters, a big step for clean air and healthy homes.
When we use gas appliances in our homes, we’re burning fossil fuels that emit pollutants into the air, which contribute to climate change and harm public health. Breathing this dirty air pollution can cause or worsen respiratory illness, especially among children.
Clean air standards for home appliances will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants, including nitrous oxide, small particulate matter, and ozone pollution.
Estimates show that if all residential gas appliances in the Bay Area were replaced with electric ones, the reduction in outdoor air pollution alone would avoid over 300 respiratory illnesses, save over 130 lives, and save $1.2 billion in healthcare costs every year.
CALPIRG commends the Bay Area Air Quality Management Board for action to protect public health by phasing out the sale of gas-fired furnaces and water heaters.
Our State Director Jenn Engstrom testified in support of the new rule. Her testimony is below:
“My name is Jenn Engstrom and I’m the State Director of CALPIRG. We’re a statewide consumer group with thousands of members in the Bay Area.
I’m here to voice my support for the proposed rules for zero emission appliance standards.
As you’ve heard, air pollution from gas-fired appliances increases the risk of premature death, asthma attacks, cancer and other adverse health impacts. Children, whose lungs are still developing, are particularly at risk of respiratory illnesses associated with gas pollution.
California has some of the worst air quality in the country. CALPIRG’s latest Trouble in the Air report found that the San Francisco and East Bay area had 70 days of unhealthy air in 2020, San Jose 99, and Vallejo 100.
Even one day of breathing in polluted air is dangerous for our health.
Action to phase out polluting appliances is necessary to achieve clean air, hit our climate goals, and protect public health. We ask that you move forward with the rule.”