New York has become the first state in the US to pass a law that bans the use of fossil fuels in most new buildings.
The budget bill that included this new ban was approved by lawmakers last night.
That ban includes gas stoves and furnaces, and the new law starts in 2026 for new buildings of seven stories or less. The ban for larger buildings starts in 2029.
There are some exemptions, such as for emergency backup power, restaurants, and hospitals. However, cities and counties will not be able to override the ban. In 2021, New York City became the largest city in the US to ban gas in new buildings.
New construction will have to use such emissions-free options as induction and electric stoves and heat pumps for new buildings. The new law does not affect existing buildings – no one is getting their gas stoves taken away.
This legislation positions New York as a leader among states working to reduce emissions from buildings. In November, Washington State passed a law that requires the installation of heat pumps in most buildings from July of this year.
Why is this something to be celebrated? Because fossil fuels are bad for the planet. Burning natural gas produces carbon dioxide – the most prevalent greenhouse gas. We need to remove them from buildings in order to meet the Paris Agreement goal of net zero by 2050.
Fossil fuels are also bad for people’s health. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology from 2013 found that children living in homes with gas stoves are over 40% more likely to have asthma due to the pollution created by burning gas.
Read more: Heat pumps are now mandatory in new homes in Washington State
Photo: Pixabay on Pexels.com
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