Switching From Gas to Electric

As we move full swing into the new year, it’s always interesting to look at the trends shaping the electrical industry that might affect business and technicians. Many of the big changes across electrical and other industries involve modernization and integrating systems that are more friendly to the environment, especially as concerns about climate change continue to grow each year.

One of the most interesting trends coming out of larger cities is the move away from natural gas to electrical power. More specifically, some metropolitan cities have actually made moves to ban natural gas in buildings, and have been spending large amounts of money on electrification. California is an example of this process: towards the end of 2019, regulators in California made policy changes that allowed them to direct $1 billion from their budget for energy efficiency to electrification efforts, as they move to stop using fossil fuels completely and reduce carbon emissions across the board.

On a smaller scale, several U.S. cities have also started banning appliances like gas stoves, in an effort to combat climate change. Berkley and San Jose in California, and Brookline in Massachusetts, have banned the use of gas appliances in new buildings, while other cities in Massachusetts and Washington are considering similar measures. While many appliances in a home use gas, a stove is the one people interact with the most directly and therefore the appliance which switching to electric would be the most noticeable, which tends to spark the discussion. Electrification of other appliances like water heaters or dryers (which are also affected) doesn’t make as much of a visible impact to people’s daily lives, but still reduces carbon emissions – the ultimate goal.

While there are many proponents of the electrification trend, there are also many opposed to it, namely gas companies across the United States who stand to lose significant amounts of money if both commercial and residential buildings move away from natural gas.

What are your thoughts on the move from natural gas to electric in new construction? Let us know on social media.