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The government isn’t coming for your gas stove, but you’d be forgiven for any confusion after last week’s media flare-up over comments by a U.S. Consumer Product Safety commissioner on how the agency is scrutinizing gas stoves’ health risks.
While some cities have moved to block natural gas appliances in newly constructed buildings, we’re not aware of any proposals to ban them outright. Instead, it’s more likely the transition from gas stoves will resemble the transition from gas cars.
Clean, electric induction stoves are a luxury item today, costing two to three times as much as gas ranges without doing much to change your monthly energy bills. But they’re not likely to stay that way, if they follow the path of other clean technologies.
It’s all thanks to a concept known as learning curves that explains why certain types of technologies tend to predictably fall in price over time. (David Roberts had a great explainer on his Volts podcast last September with a follow-up last week.)
Wealthy early adopters buying induction stoves today are like Tesla buyers a decade ago — paying a premium for new technology and, in doing so, helping put manufacturers on a path toward expansion, greater efficiency, and lower prices.
Government incentives help nudge the market forward, too. Electric cars have long benefited from state and national tax credits, and electric cooking will soon see the same starting later this year. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, low- and moderate-income households will be eligible for a rebate of up to $840 for new electric cooking appliances, with additional rebates for wiring and breaker box improvements.
Add it up and it means the economics of the gas vs. electric debate are likely to be very different in the not-too-distant future.
More clean energy news
💰 Dark money behind “green” gas: A pair of dark money political groups helped persuade Ohio to pass a law legally declaring natural gas to be “green energy.” Now, documents show they’re working to try to get other states to follow suit. (Washington Post)
🚧 Idle threat to idle EVs: A Wyoming lawmaker introduced a bill to ban electric vehicle sales beginning in 2035, then said he was just trying to make a point about California’s phaseout of gasoline-powered vehicles. (Washington Post)
🏭 Fossil fuel foresight: A new study reveals how ExxonMobil scientists made accurate predictions of fossil fuel’s impact on global warming decades ago even as the company publicly sowed doubts about climate change. (NPR)
💸 Blacklisting green investments hurts taxpayers: States that refuse to do business with banks that consider sustainability in their investments decisions could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, a study find. (States Newsroom)
🚙 Electric vehicles save money: A University of Michigan study finds 9 out of 10 U.S. drivers would benefit from switching to an EV, but the lowest-income Americans are less likely to come out ahead. (Grist)
⚡️ Help wanted: A nationwide shortage of electricians is causing delays and higher costs for homeowners looking to install solar panels and electric appliances. (Grist/Post Script Media)
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