A new proposal to ban natural gas heaters and furnaces was passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and is the first ban of its kind nationwide.

Source: NBC Bay Area/YouTube

The decision was passed unanimously and aims to phase out the sale of natural gas-powered space heaters and water heater appliances by 2030. The proposal also has measures to reduce emissions from consumer products and more.

The commitment is a part of environmental efforts passed by the board to meet the federal 70 parts per billion, 8-hour ozone standard over the next 15 years.

“We need to take every action we can to deliver on our commitments to protect public health from the adverse impacts of air pollution, and this strategy identifies how we can do just that,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said. “While this strategy will clean the air for all Californians, it will also lead to reduced emissions in the many low-income and disadvantaged communities that experience greater levels of persistent air pollution.”

According to the proposed plan, residential and commercial buildings in California account for around 5 percent of the state’s total nitrogen oxide emissions. This is due to natural gas combustion. Space and water heating make up almost 90 percent of all building-related natural gas demand in the state.

Recently, California also became the first state to eliminate subsidies for new natural gas hookups. This will also help get the state’s greenhouse gas emissions lower and hopefully lower utility bills for residents as well.

Randolph added in her statement that to achieve the ozone standard, more has to be done by the federal government.

“But to truly meet the ozone standard, California needs more federal action to clean up harmful diesel pollution from primarily federally controlled sources, from locomotives and ocean-going vessels to aircraft, which are all concentrated in communities that continue to bear the brunt of poor air quality. We simply cannot provide clean air to Californians without the federal government doing its part,” Randolph said

Although electric systems may cost more at first, they are so much better for the environment, and the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed this summer offers rebates for installing an electric HVAC system up to $8,000, depending on household income. We hope that this big move from California will encourage other states to follow their lead!

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