Banning natural gas service will increase inequality, risk electricity reliability and could cost upstate New York households more than $27,800 each, a Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) analysis released today found.
The new study, Increasing Inequality, Risking Reliable Electricity: New York’s Natural Gas Ban Plan, complements earlier analyses by CEA demonstrating the high costs of government plans to ban natural gas in upstate and New York City.
With this winter’s energy bills expected to force Americans to pay at least $14.1 billion more than last year, and inflation at the highest level since the early 1980s, policies that reduce energy reliability and affordability make no sense in a state where three out of five homes use natural gas for heating.
“We have seen what reducing energy options has done to European countries – driven energy prices up more than 300% for some and forced others to burn garbage to stay warm. Already, New York’s poorest are leaving their ovens open to heat their homes and families,” CEA New York Director Wendy Hijos said.
A legislative plan to ban natural gas, a product of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), died during budget negotiations but is set to be revisited this year.
“Revisiting a natural gas ban in a state like ours, where winters can be vicious and deadly, is nothing short of foolhardy and would harm families and small businesses,” she said. “We hope New York lawmakers think twice before adopting policies that have failed elsewhere spectacularly, and work toward common-sense plans that balance our energy needs with our shared environmental goals.”
The updated statewide report examines the cost of converting households in to all-electric appliances, using open-source consumer data and a CEA-developed cost calculator that takes into account home configuration, appliance models and labor. These findings dovetail with CEA research which found that the cost to replace just major gas appliances in homes nationwide would be more than $258 billion.