DC-Area County of 1 Million People Moves to Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use in New Buildings
Unanimous Vote by Montgomery County Council Sets New Example for Maryland and
Nation as Part of a Growing Trend to 'Electrify Everything' in the Face of Rapid Climate Change
EXPLORE THE BENEFITS OF ELECTRIFICATION
Did You Know?
Gas stoves are a primary source of combustion pollution inside the home, producing dangerous levels of air pollutants that would violate outdoor standards!
Fossil Fuels are Dirty and Dangerous
Homes with gas stoves have nitrogen dioxide concentrations up to…
higher than homes with electric stoves!
Gas stoves release the same pollution as an idling car!
Living in a home with a gas stove increases a child’s risk of having asthma by
Good For the Climate:
- To achieve MoCo’s climate goals, buildings must meet their heating, cooling, and cooking demands with electricity instead of fossil fuels such as gas, oil, and propane.
- In MoCo 50% of carbon emissions come from using fossil fuels (primarily methane gas) for water, space heating, and cooking in our buildings.
- In addition to the direct greenhouse gas emissions produced from burning gas in furnaces and stoves, the gas also leaks as it makes its way from fracking wells in West Virginia and Pennsylvania into buildings and homes.
- Worst of all, for 20 years after it is released, methane is 86 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide!
of Montgomery County's climate pollution is a result of direct use of gas, heating oil, and propane in buildings.
Gas stoves are a Primary Source of Pollution Inside the Home
- .Gas stoves release several hazardous pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
- Any exposure to nitrogen dioxide can cause respiratory effects.
- Lower-income households may be at higher risk of exposure to gas stove pollution.
- Gas stoves leak climate-warming methane even when they’re off.
Thank Your MOCO Council Member for Passing Bill 13-22
Bill 13-22: Comprehensive Building Decarbonization
Mandates that almost all new construction is fully electric
Will help meet MoCo's goal of 80% reduction in emissions by 2027
The “Comprehensive Building Decarbonization” legislation – Bill 13-22 – will ensure that all-electric building standards become part of the County’s building code no later than the end of 2026, with limited exceptions for hospitals and other facilities needing emergency backup systems or high-energy industrial or commercial cooking facilities.
In a state – Maryland – committed to a carbon-free electrical grid in coming years, the Montgomery County bill guarantees that almost all new buildings will be equipped with electric hot water systems and heat pumps for space heating and cooling, creating a zero-greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions future. Typically for an urban jurisdiction, buildings account for more than 50% of Montgomery County’s total carbon emissions.
Thank Your MOCO Council Member for Passing Bill 13-22
Electrification is affordable: All-electric buildings are generally cheaper to build and lead to lower, more stable energy bills.
- Highly efficient and effective electric appliances are readily available to meet the heating, cooling, and cooking demands of Montgomery County buildings.
- All-electric new construction is more affordable to build in most cases and generally more affordable to maintain than buildings that use fossil fuels.
- All-electric new buildings typically have the lowest construction and operating costs.
The Maryland Department of the Environment worked with Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) to model the costs of all-electric new buildings. E3’s Maryland Buildings Decarbonization Study2 found that:
Consumer Costs for New Construction
- For single-family homes, all-electric homes cost less to construct than new mixed-fuel homes.
For multifamily buildings, all-electric costs about the same to construct as mixed-fuel buildings.
- For commercial buildings, all-electric buildings can have higher or lower construction costs than mixed fuel buildings depending on building type and use.
- At current utility rates, annual energy costs are comparable between homes with electric heat pumps and homes with gas furnaces. Gas rates have risen since the report was issued.
- Annual energy costs are lower for homes with electric heat pumps than for homes heated by electric resistance, oil, or propane.
All-Electric New Construction:
- Montgomery County has the legal authority to require all-electric new construction, according to the State Attorney General’s office.
- 66 jurisdictions across seven states have adopted building electrification policies. New York State is considering a bill to require all-electric new construction statewide; New York City is already phasing out gas in new construction.
Montgomery County has a tradition of being a leader in Maryland. Together we’ll keep this tradition alive by supporting an all-electric construction code.
- Md. Comm’n on Climate Change, Building Energy Transition Plan, Oct. 11, 2021, available at https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/Air/ClimateChange/MCCC/Documents/2021%20Annual%20Report%20Appendices%20FINAL.pdf.
- U.S. Energy Info. Admin., Winter Fuels Outlook, Oct. 2021, available at https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/special/winter/2021_Winter_Fuels.pdf.
These numbers assume that Maryland adopts E3’s recommendation to pursue high electrification in the residential sector and modest electrification in the commercial sector. These assumptions impact the estimated future cost of gas, electricity, and equipment.
- American Medical Association Resolution 439, adopted 2022 See RMI, Indoor Air Pollution: the Link between Climate and Health (2020), https://rmi.org/indoor-air-pollution-the-link-between-climate-and-health/;
- Stanford University Press Release, Stanford scientists find the climate and health impacts of natural gas stoves are greater than previously thought (2022), https://news.stanford.edu/2022/01/27/rethinking-cooking-gas/.
- Download the slide deck: https://ccanactionfund.org/media/Electrify-MD-slides-complete.pdf
- Download the flyer: https://ccanactionfund.org/media/FINAL-DRAFT-Electrify-MoCo-Now-Flyer-2022.pdf