Gas Water Heaters to Be Banned in the Bay Area After 2026
The Air Quality Management District board has made a landmark decision to ban the sale of gas water heaters in the Bay Area after 2026.
In addition, new gas furnaces will also be banned starting in 2029.
The vote was nearly unanimous and is expected to significantly impact homeowners and businesses in the region.
Service Champions, one of the largest locally-owned companies in the area specializing in this kind of work, has been preparing for the new zero-emissions rules for years.
They have a warehouse of heat pumps and electric equipment and have been educating their customers about the changes.
Some customers have already decided to switch over, while others want to keep their gas appliances for as long as possible.
Beginning in 2027, gas water heaters can no longer be sold or installed in the Bay Area.
Gas furnaces in homes will have to be replaced with electric zero-emission systems starting in 2029, and large commercial heating systems will have to be zero-emissions by 2031.
There are nearly 2 million gas furnaces and water heaters in the Bay Area currently, and the pollution from these appliances rivals the emissions from vehicle tailpipes in the region.
The district’s Communications Manager stated that this significantly impacts air quality, resulting in dozens of early deaths and a wide range of health impacts, particularly in communities of color.
While some citizens have expressed concerns about the expense of replacing gas appliances with new electric ones, the new rules only apply to new appliances, not existing ones.
They also do not mandate the changeout of existing appliances or apply to appliances used for cooking, such as gas stoves.
As long as they are still working, old appliances can be serviced and repaired by qualified plumbers and companies like Service Champions.
The ban on gas water heaters and furnaces is a major step towards reducing emissions in the Bay Area and improving air quality.