The Department of Energy (DOE) quietly reduced its appraisal for how much money consumers will save through its proposed gas stove efficiency standards by 2030, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
DOE’s initial proposal, issued in February, estimated that the new energy standards for “conventional consumer cooking products” would save consumers 13 cents per month in utility costs over the lifespans of gas-powered cooking products, according to AHAM’s calculations. The updated figures reflect a 30% reduction in the estimated energy savings, with the DOE now approximating that consumers will be able to save an average of 9 cents a month on their utility payments, AHAM calculated.
The revised savings estimates result from “DOE recognizing that the currently available cooking products are more efficient than its earlier analysis assumed,” according to AHAM. The updated savings underpinning the proposal’s merits are “almost negligible.”
Gas stoves are used in 40% of all American homes, and they are both cheaper and quicker to use than electric stoves, according to Bloomberg News. The DOE’s proposal would require about 50% of stoves to receive upgrades in order to meet new energy standards, according to Geraldine Richmond, a DOE official who testified in July for a House Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Economic Growth, and Regulatory Affairs hearing.
Some Democrat-controlled cities and states have looked to roll out their own versions of a gas stove ban. Berkeley, California attempted to enact a de facto gas stove ban by prohibiting new gas hookups in the city, and the New York state legislature voted in favor of a similar statewide ban on new gas hookups in May.
The Biden administration, led chiefly by the DOE, has issued a spate of energy efficiency proposals in recent months that would clamp down on a range of gas-powered appliances, such as portable generators and water heaters. The House passed a bill in June that would prohibit a federal ban on gas stoves if it becomes law.
Proponents of regulation targeting gas stoves have asserted that the appliances contribute to childhood asthma diagnoses and respiratory problems.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) chief Richard Trumka, Jr. told Bloomberg News in January that “products that can’t be made safe can be banned” from the market, adding that “any option is on the table” when it comes to a potential gas stove ban.
A December 2022 study, referenced by Trumka in the Bloomberg interview, argues that 12.7% of all childhood asthma cases could be traced to gas stove use. The study was partially funded by two advocacy organizations that promote home electrification and the green transition.
A separate study published in 2013 concluded that there was “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis” after collecting a data sample consisting of 500,000 kids around the world.
DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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