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New York state is set to ban fossil fuels in new construction starting in 2026

In this photo illustration, a flame burns on a gas stove on April 28, 2023 in New York City.
Michael M. Santiago
/
Getty Images
In this photo illustration, a flame burns on a gas stove on April 28, 2023 in New York City.

New York state is poised to phase in a ban on fossil fuel equipment in new construction starting in 2026, part of the state's effort to switch to cleaner energy sources and reduce carbon emissions.

"Just like we had to, a long time ago, transition from coal as your energy source, we do have to transition. There are clean energy alternatives," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in an interview with Good Day New York.

"New buildings that are going up — they can go electric, they can do heat pumps. This is how you transition. Nobody's touching your gas stove," Hochul said.

The governor's office said New York would be the first state in the U.S. to advance such a ban via legislation. California and Washington have taken similar steps through their building codes, Politico reported.

On the flip side, at least 23 states have enacted laws that prevent state and local governments from regulating which energy sources homeowners and business owners use, according to Pew.

New York's new rules were part of the $229 billion budget deal Hochul struck with leadership in the Democratic-controlled legislature last week.

New gas stoves or propane furnaces would be a thing of the past under the proposal, which would require homes and businesses to be fully electric starting in 2026. Existing buildings would be unaffected.

Any new construction seven stories and under would not be permitted to install fossil fuel equipment, though large commercial or industrial buildings 100,000 square feet or more would be exempt. By 2029, the ban would apply to all new construction.

New York City — the largest municipality in the U.S. — announced in 2021 that it was phasing in a similar prohibition on fossil fuels in new construction beginning this year.

American Gas Association president and CEO Karen Harbert said in a statement that natural gas has helped drive down carbon emissions and that banning it in new buildings would hurt energy customers.

"Any push to ban natural gas would raise costs to consumers, jeopardize environmental progress and deny affordable energy to underserved populations," Harbert said.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez
[Copyright 2024 NPR]