All Electric?

Does it make sense for our homes and businesses to be all electric? Absolutely not! But that’s where many communities in America are headed. In Berkeley California, the City Council has voted to ban natural gas in all new low-rise residential buildings. This bad idea is spreading to other parts of the country. If it accelerates, the all electric contagion will have serious negative consequences for us all.

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Have you heard about the blow the Berkeley, California City Council has landed on consumer choice? The city has banned natural gas in all new low-rise residential buildings. That means the new richy-rich of Berkeley will have to use an electric stovetop to cook their meals. No natural gas water heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers or barbeque grills either.

Who cares, right? If the people of Berkeley want to cut off their access to natural gas, let ‘em. They will be the ones cooking dinner on an electric stovetop as they grit their teeth and green signal, right.

That’s true, but this bad idea of cutting off the gas supply is spreading. About 60 other cities and towns across California are also considering building codes to promote electric appliances as a way to fight climate change. Entire states, such as New Jersey and Maine have plans to reduce or end the use of natural gas in all buildings.​

In many ways, it’s a lot like the so-called Green New Deal based upon the fanciful belief that most or even all electricity will soon come from wind and solar, and batteries will back up the entire system. It’s a ridiculous proposition, which we explain in our Battery Fantasy video.

But if this trend continues life could get rough for the rest of us. In a worst-case scenario the federal government might decide it’s a good idea to cut off residential natural gas. Or maybe the urge to bludgeon consumer choice rapidly spreads across cities and states. Either way, countless millions of perfectly good appliances would be scrapped, and a lot of people would have to upgrade their home’s electricity system.

While this is going on, your local utility would need to make significant upgrades, the costs being passed on to you. And the national electric grid would also need to be massively expanded to increase generation, transmission, and distribution capacity. Again, those costs passed onto you.

The Consumer Energy Alliance ran the numbers on only the swapping out of appliances and calculated it would cost households as much as five grand each. Even if full electrification was phased in over many years, these costs would still have to be paid.

Here’s another not-so-small detail. Natural gas powers almost 70 percent of all commercial and residential appliances. Moving all that energy consumption to the electric grid is a recipe for disaster. Imagine what happens when the grid goes down in a city or region for days or longer following a harsh winter storm and there’s no gas to keep millions of homes warm.

If you’re not perturbed enough already, check this out. Household CO2 emissions from natural gas in 2016 made up only four percent of the total, so this grandiose plan to take away your gas and electrify everything in every American home is targeting only a small percentage of emissions. And would it even work? No.

Solar panels and wind turbines only produce electricity about 20 to 30 percent of the time. That means instead of using natural gas to directly cook your food and heat your home, most often it would instead be burned at a power plant, generating electricity to be sent down transmission lines and ultimately delivered to your electric appliances, which is less efficient.

I should remind you that the Clear Energy Alliance is not convinced that carbon dioxide emissions are having all that much impact on the climate. So, to us, the entire idea is preposterous, unnecessarily dangerous, and is yet another assault on your right to choose how to live your life. 

For the Clear Energy Alliance, I’m Mark Mathis. Power On. 

View Sources

Implications of Policy-Driven Residential Electrification–insights/reports/aga_study_on_residential_electrification.pdf


New York passes a zero-carbon by 2050 law


U.S. Energy Information Administration, ii Social Security

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U.S. Energy Information Administration,

Home Advisor,

U.S. Energy Information Administration,

Home Advisor,

U.S. Energy Information Administration,


U.S. Energy Information Administration,

U.S. Energy Information Administration,


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