New York has become the first state to ban the use of natural gas and other fossil-fueled appliances in new residential buildings across the state. Instead of gas-fired stoves and furnaces, the inhabitants will be cooking on induction stoves and enjoying heating and cooling provided by heat pumps. New York’s statewide ban underscores a broader transition away from fossil fuel use towards the electrification of buildings and transportation. Until now, most fossil fuel bans have been introduced by municipalities in leading communities throughout the U.S.
The ban will curb emissions from buildings, which is essential to achieve the state’s ambitious emission reduction targets set out in the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Under this act, New York is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050.
The statewide ban follows existing gas bans in New York City and Westchester County. In these downstate areas, new residential and multi-family buildings are adopting all-electric designs for heating, cooling, and hot water generation. High-performance buildings prioritize efficient design and construction methods to reduce thermal demands. Highly efficient heat pump systems then deliver heating and cooling – comfort that comes with emissions reductions, improved indoor environments, and cost savings over the life of the system.
Air source heat pumps delivering space cooling are familiar to many homeowners. Operated in reverse, heat pumps efficiently and reliably offer space heating and domestic hot water production. Ground source heat pumps (geothermal) use the same technology as air source heat pumps but do so at much higher efficiencies (and therefore at lower operating costs). In fact, ground source heat pumps are the most efficient, all-electric source of heating and cooling available today.
The ban does not impact natural gas fueled systems for large commercial and industrial buildings, hospitals, and restaurants. However, Endurant has consistently shown that ground-source heat pump systems can be installed and operated cost effectively for large commercial buildings and campuses. The combination of state and utility incentive programs, federal tax credits, and operational savings makes ground source heat pump systems a cost-saving decision with significant environmental benefits. And induction hobs are easier to clean, too!