Despite the widespread outcry in response to the ban, the Biden administration is now proposing new regulations for gas stoves. Even though there was pushback against the idea of a countrywide ban, the Energy Department nonetheless came up with another unwanted brilliant idea. The new proposed guidelines would impose a specific energy consumption level for gas stoves.
During an interview last month, Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr. called gas stoves a “hidden hazard,” adding that every possibility is on the table for a statewide ban. After public backlash, Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric reiterated that he and the organization had no intention of banning gas stoves. However, on Wednesday, the Energy Department proposed new guidelines that would allow regulators to impose energy usage requirements for the equipment.
Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, a new “maximum integrated yearly energy usage” guideline would apply to gas stoves. The Energy Department is accepting comments on the proposed rules until April 3. The current laws forbid continuously running pilot lights in gas stoves but do not limit energy use. Under the proposed guidelines, conventional ovens would also be prohibited from using a control system that depends on a linear power source.
Department of Energy experts tentatively decided that the proposed criteria constitute the utmost increase in energy efficiency that is technologically possible and economically justified and would result in the considerable conservation of energy, according to a press release. The EPA said there are “significant and strong” climate advantages, and items attaining these benchmark levels are presently commercially accessible for all product classes addressed by this proposal. By implementing the proposed requirements, air pollutants and greenhouse gases will be reduced from energy production and consumption, as well as lower emissions experienced by customers and their families in the comfort of their homes.
CEO of the American Gas Association, Karen Herbert, stated that the industry group would “carefully assess” the new regulations in the coming weeks. She voiced worry that the federal government was again trying to utilize rules to eliminate competitive natural gas products.
According to a statement sent to NBC News by an Energy Department spokeswoman, the new regulations do not amount to outright prohibitions on any particular kind of home appliances. The representative said that the new rules will not take effect until 2027 and may save the country up to $1.7 billion over its lifetime. According to the Department of Energy, every major manufacturer has goods that meet or surpass the specifications proposed today.
The Energy Information Administration reports that 38% of homes already use gas stoves for cooking, surpassing 70% in California and New Jersey areas. Last year, Democratic legislators wrote a letter expressing worry over the “risks posed to consumers” by the appliances, prompting regulatory scrutiny. Although the growing usage of natural gas is a key source of decreased emissions in the United States, the officials nevertheless cited climate change concerns when addressing phaseouts of gas stoves.
Opponents of the proposed action said that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had not investigated the appliances sufficiently. According to the American Gas Association, this is a misguided agenda that won’t improve the environment or consumer health and will saddle vulnerable populations with high costs by creating consumer fears through baseless allegations to justify banning natural gas.