CARB Approves Proposal to Ban Natural Gas Furnaces and Heaters by 2030
State agencies must now draft a rule for phasing out natural gas-fueled furnaces and heaters with final vote in 2025.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a proposal to ban the sale of all new natural gas-fired space heaters and water heating appliances by 2030. CARB adopted the proposal with its approval the 2022 State Implementation Plan (SIP) Strategy for attaining the EPA regulations limiting ozone in the atmosphere to 70 parts per billion. The 2022 SIP Strategy includes regulations and other programs to reduce emissions by transitioning away from fossil fuels. State agencies must now draft a rule for phasing out natural gas-fueled furnaces and heaters with final vote in 2025.
The proposal would require CARB to develop and propose zero-emission standards for space and water heaters sold in California. Beginning in 2030, all sales of new space heaters and water heaters for either new construction or replacement of equipment in existing buildings would need to comply with the standards.
CARB notes that the measure “would not mandate retrofits in existing buildings, but some buildings would require retrofits to be able to use the new technology that this measure would require.” The regulation would likely rely on heat pump technologies currently being sold to electrify new and existing homes.
The measure is part of what CARB refers to as “a suite of equity-promoting and complementary building decarbonization policies deeply informed by public process.” These include “scaling back natural gas infrastructure, expanding construction of zero-emission buildings, and building a sustainable market by increasing affordability and accessibility through expanding incentive programs, ensuring utility rates are supportive of electrification, developing the workforce, and increasing consumer education.”
CARB states that it will work with other “agencies, industry, environmental stakeholders, and community representatives to ensure that the measure is developed and implemented in an equitable manner to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities.”
The proposal is one of a number of policies that California is pursuing to reduce its carbon emissions. California recently codified the state’s goal to have zero emissions sources for 100% of the state’s electricity by 2045. The state recently passed S.B. 1020, which revises state policy on attaining zero-emission electricity by implementing interim targets for 2035 and 2040.
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