New York is the first state in the country to ban natural gas and other fossil fuels in most new buildings – a major win for climate advocates, but a move that could spark pushback from fossil fuel interests.
Facing mounting pressure from environmental advocates and climate-minded voters, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democratic lawmakers, who control the New York Senate and Assembly, approved the new $229 billion state budget containing the provision late Tuesday night.
The law bans gas-powered stoves, furnaces and propane heating and effectively encourages the use of climate-friendly appliances such as heat pumps and induction stoves in most new residential buildings across the state. It requires all-electric heating and cooking in new buildings shorter than seven stories by 2026, and for taller buildings by 2029.
The state’s budget doesn’t ban gas in all new buildings – there are exceptions for large commercial and industrial buildings like stores, hospitals, laundromats, and restaurants, for instance. But the impact on new residential buildings could be significant. Buildings account for 32% of New York State’s planet-warming emissions, according to a 2022 report.