Montgomery County, Maryland will be the first county on the US East Coast to ban natural gas in new buildings.
Montgomery County will require all new construction to use only electric power equipment. Montgomery County, which is just north of Washington, DC, has a population of just over one million, so this is a big decision for the area.
This effectively means that all new buildings in the county will have to switch to electricity for heating, hot water production and cooking from the end of 2026. However, low-income housing and schools will have until the end of 2026. end of 2027.
The Montgomery County Board backed the gas limits by a 9-0 vote, and the county executive is expected to sign Bill 13-22, “Comprehensive Building Decarbonization.”
About half of the county’s emissions come from buildings, so environmental groups have welcomed the move. Mike Tidwell, director of climate change public policy advocacy group CCAN Action Fund, said of Bill 13-22 on Nov. 17:
Our safety and health will benefit from a move to fully electric buildings, and we will do our part to fight climate change.
Unsurprisingly, the natural gas industry is not so enthusiastic. E&E News reports :
Representatives of Washington Gas Light Co, which distributes gas to more than a million customers in Montgomery County and the Washington area, said the ban focuses on electrification “while excluding other proven opportunities for decarbonization,” such as blending hydrogen into the natural gas system.
“We urge the Board to consider a more comprehensive approach to decarbonization, one that puts affordability, reliability, resilience and security at the forefront,” the company wrote in a document to the Board of county on July 26.
Electrification leads to higher initial costs for…