Gas appliances in California homes and Natural gas stoves release methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and other pollutants through leaks and incomplete combustion. This may come as surprise to many homeowners.

Stanford researchers estimate that methane leaking from stoves inside U.S. homes has the same climate impact as about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and the stoves can expose people to respiratory disease-triggering pollutants.

Clcik here to view the report: Stanford scientists find the climate and health impacts of natural gas stoves are greater than previously thought.

SPUR also authored an article about this subject. Here’s an excerpt from their Execute Summary:

Heat pumps are highly efficient zero-emission electric technology that can be used for water heating, and for warming and cooling buildings. Air source heat pumps provide both heating and air conditioning in a single device, while delivering key climate, health, and resilience co-benefits. In addition to cutting NOx pollution, an equitable transition to electric heat pumps in homes could advance housing and environmental justice by making homes healthier, safer, and more affordable for households by improving indoor air quality, cutting energy use, and increasing access to cooling in the face of climate-fueled heat waves. Here’s a link to the SPUR report. 

California is phasing out Gas Appliances

In its ongoing effort to slash ozone pollution, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to ban the sale of new gas furnaces and water heaters beginning in 2030. Homes will be required to install zero-emissions alternatives, like electric heaters.

What does this mean to Calfiornia Homeowners?

Gas furnaces in California won’t necessarily disappear in 2030. It just means that in 7 years, there will only be zero-emission replacements as old furnaces and water heaters begin to break and need to be replaced.

The legislation also comes with rebate money to help residents make the switch to zero-emission technology.

The decision is just one more step toward California achieving its most ambitious climate goal yet: Carbon Neutralitiy by 2045.Example of gas water heater and gas furnace

How do Heat Pumps work?

But now there’s a low-to-no-carbon alternative: the heat pump. In winter, it pulls heat out of the ground or air (even at very cold outside temperatures) and transfers it inside. In summer, it flips into reverse, pulling heat from inside and pumping it out. All it requires is a minimal amount of electricity—which, if it’s produced from renewable sources, can make the entire process carbon-free.

Excerpt from article (link)

And here’s an excerpt from the PG&E Handy Guide about Home Electrification (link to full guide):