Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – April 24, 2023
First we heard about of the government going after gas stoves. Now it’s all gas appliances; furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, indoor fireplaces and more.
Gas appliances are cheaper to operate than electric, so what’s all the hullabaloo about?
We’re being told it’s not safe. Now get this:
“Gas stoves can have 50% to 400% higher levels of pollution than electric. Plus gas leaks can lead to fires”.
What about the flip side? If they are properly ventilated, then they’re not likely to be dangerous.
Personally, I prefer cooking on a gas stove and can see the wisdom of going to gas from wood burning stoves. Primarily because without a wood burning stove there’s nothing to worry about the house staying too warm after cooking, or having enough wood to burn to start that oven up or needing a heavy cast iron stove. A cord of wood these days can easily run between $300 and $500.
What could be more irritating that to lose power and not being able to heat your home with electric heating, or appliances, or cook, or turn on the lights. In Del Norte County having power outages every winter is a given. The big difference these days is that Pacific Power alerts you to the power outage and then let’s you know when the power should be restored. Of course, that’s if your computer is running and you can connect to the internet.
San Diego already has a plan of action in place. By 2035, eliminate almost all natural gas from buildings and not just on new building, but retrofitting apartments, restaurants and skyscrapers to run solely on electricity.
“Once achieved, that’s equivalent to cutting 1.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses generated in the city per year.”
The city has yet to pass specific policies regarding private homes and businesses.
And there is backlash. That would be from the workers and unions involved with seeing their livelihoods ending by no longer needing a gas pipeline.
In 2022, the California Air Resources Board voted on an overall climate change- and pollution-fighting strategy that included a plan to start prohibiting sales of new gas furnaces and water heaters in 2030. The rules are expected to be finalized in 2025.
A year ago, the LA City Council voted to ban natural gas in new residential and commercial buildings. More than 50 Californian cities have enacted similar rules, banning or limiting the consumption of natural gas.
That mean’s that manufacturers of gas appliances will be affected.
Workers and unions are not the only ones affected. Homeowner’s will be faced with paying more because electricity runs more than natural gas.
What’s it going to cost you, the homeowner to convert to electric appliances? And, I’m not even talking about electric vehicles. Some estimates based on today’s rates say it will run about $30,000. OUCH!
Carl DeMaio, founder of Reform California has this to say:
“California homeowners already are being forced to pay the highest electric, gas and water rates in the nation due to costly government mandates — but things are about to get a lot worse if California Democrat politicians succeed in imposing a proposed ban on all natural gas appliances.
California Democrats are proposing to ban the use of any home appliances that use clean natural gas — and that includes a ban on everything from water and home heaters to pool heaters and even gas stoves. In fact, under the Democrats’ plan natural gas would be eventually shut off completely in every home and building in the state.
Carl DeMaio, is leading the opposition to the costly new mandate. DeMaio warns the cost of this intrusive mandate is staggering: over $30,000 per homeowner.”
“DeMaio says the $30,000 cost estimate per homeowner was made two years ago in a 58 page analysis commissioned by the Home Innovation Research Labs for the National Association of Home Builders and is now “likely on the low-end of cost estimates.”
In fact, the study stated:
“The retrofit cost of electrification for an existing baseline gas house ranges between $24,282 and $28,491, not including the additional cost to substitute an induction cooktop ($1,091- 1,157), install an electric vehicle charger circuit ($1,266-1,343), or install an electrical service upgrade (a potential substantial additional cost in some cases). By comparison, the retrofit cost of gas equipment and appliances for an existing baseline gas house ranges between $9,767 and $10,359 using standard efficiency equipment, and between $12,658 and $13,425 using high efficiency equipment.”
Of course, being that the study was done two years ago, that also means that everything is already outdated and prices and labor costs are skyrocketing. Shortages of electric appliances will be next.
Why are Democrat politicians doing this? DeMaio says they aren’t doing this mandate to save the planet from climate change — they are doing this mandate because they want to put a bunch of union electricians to work in the state and force homeowners to pay for local government permit fees.
Here’s my biggest concern, does our state’s electricity grid have the ability to handle all-electric appliances in every building and home? I believe the answer is NO and California simply cannot produce all the energy needed with just wind or solar.
Final thought. I’m glad we have a gas powered generator. It’s not natural gas, but come the power outages, it’s nice to know that the food in the fridge and freezer at least won’t be spoiled.