November 18th, 2019
Why We Might Not Be Cooking with Gas
Most don’t know this about me, but I am a foodie through and through. I enjoy cooking and cannot imagine giving up my gas range. Take it from me: The easy cleaning, the speed and temperature control, they are must-haves for any home chef. But according to a recent article in USA Today, gas ranges might be on their way out.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration cites that natural gas is responsible for around 33% of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and is a primary driver for climate change, second only to coal. Environmental advocates are taking on the cause. In fact, cities and counties across California are considering or enacting what they are calling “stretch” building codes that encourage builders to forgo gas lines in new construction in favor of carbon-neutral energy sources.
Natural gas is under fire, but advocates claim that denying access to natural gas could make meeting emissions goals more expensive and more difficult. Consumers could end up paying more in their utility bills in an all-electric home.
I am not taking sides here. I can see both points of view. And we can’t deny the impact electric transmission and distribution can have on the environment as well – i.e., wildfires.
Indeed, I don’t have all the answers. But what I do know is this: Building codes are rapidly evolving as pressures grow across the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen a more rapid evolution over my career (see: Global Interest in Reducing Carbon Emissions Is Mounting for examples).
I witnessed the energy-source debate firsthand when I attended the California Energy Commission’s High-Performance Windows Forum workshop in July. While the main topic centered around how Skinny Triples can help meet emerging codes, there was definitely an ongoing theme that encouraged builders to go 100% electric.
The View from Here
So, this all brings me to The View from Here. Regardless of where you stand on climate change, manufacturers and suppliers in the building products industry must adapt to the rapidly evolving world of codes and standards. Sustainable products are essential for sustainable business now and into the future. Just don’t take away my gas range.
What’s your View? Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.