New study released detailing health risks of natural gas use in homes & ways to switch to electric appliances

City of Palo Alto
PaloAltoConnect
Published in
5 min readFeb 23

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As you plan out 2023, commit to taking climate action and consider going electric in your home. We’ve made it easier than ever to learn about the benefits of switching from gas appliances to electric appliances. A new study points to the health risks of natural gas use in homes and if you need more incentive to switch, check out details on Federal rebates and credits, and a new City program that could help you save big. Gather your environmentally conscious neighbors and friends and attend upcoming events focused on climate action or volunteer with Palo Alto 350 Silicon Valley as an ambassador going door to door to share program details.

New Study Emphasizes Health Risks of Gas Stove Use

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently made the determination to submit a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain public input on hazards associated with gas stoves, beginning the process to consider a ban on the sale of gas stoves, a source of indoor pollution linked to childhood asthma. The CPSC is a federal agency that works to protect American households by reducing risks from consumer products through mandatory standards, recalls, and bans. Due to negative indoor air quality risks associated with natural (methane) gas use, the CPSC has been considering the need to act on gas stoves.

A December 2022 study estimates that about 13% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use, which is similar to the effects of secondhand smoke exposure on childhood asthma. Burning methane gas releases gasses such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde, which have all been shown to pose significant health risks.

Induction cooktops provide a safe, healthy alternative to gas stoves, with the same heat control. Learn about trying an induction cooktop at home.

Save on Electrification with the Inflation Reduction Act

The Federal Government’s Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, provides opportunities to save on efficiency upgrades, the purchase of an electric vehicle or rooftop solar system, and installing new electric appliances.

New rebates and incentives include:

  • Tax credit covering 30% of the costs of installing rooftop solar
  • Up to $1,200 credit for adding insulation to windows and doors
  • Energy efficiency rebates of up to $4,000 or $8,000 for income-qualified households
  • Tax credit up to $2,000 for buying and installing a heat pump
  • Tax credit of $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle or $4,000 for a pre-owned electric vehicle for income qualifying households
  • Rebates covering up to 100% of the costs of installing electric appliances for low- and moderate-income households

Learn more here.

Switch to an Electric Water Heater

Switching to electric is better for the environment, your wallet, and your health compared with gas-powered water heaters. Heating water with an electric water heater is less costly than using a gas water heater and avoids the risk of exposure to unhealthy chemicals that come from burning natural (methane) gas. Make the switch to an electric heat pump water heater. The City introduced details of new pilot program on the way, that offers easy decision-making and installation.

Learn more and sign up here to be one of the first in line as this program launches soon!

Interested in making the switch but not sure where to start? Make an Electrification Readiness Plan!

Are you interested in lowering your emissions but feel overwhelmed on where to start? That’s okay! Many residents are not prepared to electrify their whole home right away. A great place to start is noting the age of your current appliances and making a plan to replace them with more efficient, electric alternatives as they reach the end of their lifespan.

The City’s home energy advisors can help you make an electrification plan for 2023 by providing expert phone advice, or an in-home electrification readiness and energy efficiency assessment.

You can also learn about different ways to go electric through a new online resource answering your questions on solar, EV cars and chargers, heat pump water heaters, and more. Learn about going electric at www.cityofpaloalto.org/goelectric

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take climate action by participating in upcoming events in Palo Alto. Visit the City’s calendar for other events.

Learn to Save Water Indoors
Thursday, February 23 | 6–7:30 p.m. | Virtual | Register and Learn More

Induction Cooking Class by Acterra
Thursday, February 23 | 6:30–7:30 p.m. | Virtual | Register and Learn More

Palo Alto Art Center Family Day — Water Conservation
Sunday, March 5 | 2–4:30 p.m. | Palo Alto Art Center | Learn More

Climate Neutral Cities — It Starts with Me and You
Thursday, March 9 | 2–8 p.m. | Palo Alto City Hall | Register and Learn More

Electric Water Heater Canvas
Saturday, March 11 & Sunday, March 12 | 1–4 p.m. | Your Neighborhood | Register and Learn More

Promise to Our Planet 2023: A Climate Action Benefit
Thursday, March 23 | 5–7 p.m. | Virtual | Register and Learn More

JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND GET MORE ONLINE RESOURCES

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City of Palo Alto
PaloAltoConnect

Official communications from the City of Palo Alto. Connect about issues of interest to our community. Follow us on social media: www.cityofpaloalto.org/connect