The San Francisco Bay area has announced a ban on gas-powered furnaces and water heaters starting in 2027 in an effort to improve local air quality and public health, according to a report from Reuters.
This move is part of a broader push in the United States to eliminate natural gas, a fossil fuel, from heating homes and buildings, with California at the forefront.
Last year, the California Air Resources Board stated that all new space and water heaters must have zero emissions by 2030.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) voted to adopt rules that will require new water heaters and furnaces to have zero emissions of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, Reuters points out.
Exposure to NOx has been linked to respiratory conditions, according to the BAAQMD.
Gas stoves used for cooking, however, are not affected by the rules.
The regulator reports that approximately two-thirds of Bay Area households currently use natural gas appliances.
The rules will first apply to water heaters in single-family homes in 2027, then to furnaces in 2029, and finally to multifamily and commercial water heaters in 2031.
The compliance dates are intended to allow for increased availability of zero-emitting equipment and for costs to decrease, according to a BAAQMD staff report.
Eliminating natural gas appliances would require an expensive transition to electric equipment like heat pumps.