The San Francisco Bay Area has become one of the largest U.S. districts to limit the use of gas-burning appliances in homes and buildings.
This week, the region’s air pollution regulators agreed to phase out gas-fueled furnaces and water heaters by requiring that new appliances have zero emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) starting in 2027. Nearly 90 percent of the area’s residential NOx emissions come from burning gas for space and water heating — contributing more of the smog-forming, health-harming pollutant than do passenger vehicles.
“The 1.8 million water heaters and furnaces in the Bay Area significantly impact our air quality, resulting in dozens of early deaths and a wide range of health impacts, particularly in communities of color,” Philip Fine, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said on Wednesday.
“This groundbreaking regulation will phase out the most polluting appliances in homes and businesses to protect Bay Area residents from the harmful air pollution they cause,” he added.
The Air District’s new rule amendments don’t require anyone to ditch or retrofit their existing appliances.
More: Bay Area officials vote to ditch new gas furnaces and water heaters