New York State Bans Gas Stoves in New Buildings

The law will allow exceptions, but largely eliminates natural gas in future residential construction.

A gas stovetop

Molly Aaker / Getty Images

On Tuesday, New York’s state legislature approved a $229 billion state budget that included a requirement for all-electric heating and cooking in new buildings, making it the first state in the country to do so. The legislation does not cover gas-powered and propane heating appliances in existing homes and commercial spaces, which, according to the state's 2022 report, account for 32% of the New York's overall carbon emissions.

The requirement will be enforced for all new buildings under seven stories by 2026 and for buildings over seven stories by 2029. The law does exempt emergency backup generators along with industrial buildings, including hospitals, car washes, manufacturing facilities, and restaurants. These exemptions may allow for the ban to remain in place despite being reversed in other states (two weeks ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the California Restaurant Association that banning gas hookups in newly constructed commercial or residential buildings in Berkeley, Calif. was in violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.)

The tussle over gas use is becoming an increasingly political one. Democrats and environmental advocates continue to push for other states to adopt the ban, referencing New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which was passed in 2019. The act ranks among the most ambitious climate laws in the country, requiring New York to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050. In addition to health benefits and environmental preservation, the act cites equity, inclusion, and growing economic opportunities as benefits. Republicans along with leadership at oil and gas companies and union groups argue the negative effects on housing costs, utility bills, and construction delays.

While a state like New York passing a natural gas ban might indicate the movement is becoming more mainstream and may serve to pave the way for similar moves in other cities and municipalities, states like Texas, Arizona, and Ohio continue to push for preemptive measures against such bans.

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