New York State bans gas ranges and furnaces in many new buildings

New York has become the first US state to pass legislation banning the use of natural gas for heating and cooking in some new buildings, a plan designed to reduce carbon emissions but disputed by industry groups as excessive and costly.

The Democratic-led House and Senate on Tuesday night approved the provisions, which are included in the state’s $229 billion U.S. budget. Gov. Kathy Hochul and lawmakers agreed to broad outlines of the spending program last week.

“Changing the way we make and use energy to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels will help ensure a healthier environment for us and our children,” New York President Carl Heastie said in a statement.

The decision in New York comes amid fierce public debate in the United States over the health and environmental impacts of cooking appliances that burn fossil fuels and the broader role of natural gas in climate change. .

Who opposes the ban and why?

Dozens of cities across the United States have adopted or are considering policies that ban or discourage natural gas in new buildings to address public health and climate concerns. They have faced strong resistance from gas industry groups and restaurant and appliance lobby groups who argue that such concerns are overblown.

“A first in the nation, an unconstitutional ban on natural gas hookups in new construction will drive up utility bills and increase housing costs,” said Republican New York State Senator Robert Ortt. in a press release.

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Which buildings are affected? From when ?

The provisions will require new buildings to be constructed with only electrical hookups for appliances and utilities from 2025. The law will come into effect for buildings under seven stories from 2026. The requirements will come into effect for taller buildings by 2029, according to The New York Times.

Hospitals, critical infrastructure and commercial food establishments will be exempt from the requirements.

Buildings where the local network is not able to support the load will also be exempt from the new law. Existing buildings and devices will not be affected by the legislation.

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