Heated debate has been stoked over the potential ban on gas stoves. For now, those attached to their gas stoves can rest assured that they won’t have to make any changes at home — a ban isn’t happening just yet. On June 13, the House approved a bill that Republican lawmakers say would protect gas stoves from overzealous government regulators. The legislation prohibits use of federal money to regulate gas stoves as a hazardous product.
But a gas stove ban could still be on the horizon. If enforced, what would it mean for your utility bills?
Your Electric Bill May Go Up, but Your Gas Bill Would Go Down
As you may have expected, the addition of an electric stove in your home will likely send your electric bill ticking upward — though, as is discussed below, this is somewhat debatable. But adoption of an electric stove will also bring your gas bill down.
“Obviously, if you’re eliminating the use of gas in your cooking, your gas bill will decrease significantly, especially if you cook a lot,” said Melanie Musson, a home finance expert with Clearsurance.com.
How Much Will Your Electricity Bill Go Up?
Exactly how much your electricity bill will go up with the adoption of an electric stove depends on a few factors, including your usage habits and local utility rates.
“As more buildings and homes join the ‘electrify everything’ movement to help lower emissions, smart home and energy monitoring platforms can offer an easy way to better understand how these changes are impacting your utility bills and offer guidance on how to lower your costs throughout the year,” said Jeff Hendler, CEO of Logical Buildings, a climate tech company.
“Energy Star now certifies Smart Home Energy Management Systems, SHEMS, that empower consumers to save more money using smart electric appliances.”
Save Money With Apps
There are free apps to gauge your utility usage and the costs associated with it. These are great if you have smart appliances.
“If you have smart appliances like electric stoves, refrigerators and thermostats, these platforms provide a detailed breakdown of which devices and loads are using the most energy at a given time,” Hendler said. “By integrating with real-time utility pricing signals, they can also offer insights into how you can shift habits to lower costs — for instance, you might be able to turn off an appliance via an app anytime or run a dishwasher overnight when rates are lower.
“In several states, residents can actually earn cash using less electricity during peak demand events. Switching to all electric appliances can lead to lower annual energy costs and, in some states, earn money for consumers.”
A Good Induction Stove Could Actually Be Cost-Efficient
Your electric stove won’t necessarily result in higher electricity costs — if you have an energy-efficient model.
“I once helped a client find a greener home, and the property they fell in love with sported an electric induction stove,” said Eric Bramlett, realtor and owner of Bramlett Residential. “Despite initial fears of a soaring electricity bill, they discovered that their costs were rather similar to their previous gas stove bills. That’s largely down to the superb energy efficiency of electric stoves — especially induction ones. These use electromagnetic fields to heat the pots directly, cutting down on heat waste.”
Add Solar Panels and You’ll Really See Your Utility Bills Drop
You can take your savings opportunity a step or two further by coupling your electric stove with a renewable energy source, like solar panels.
“This combination can, believe it or not, help bring your electricity costs down even further,” Bramlett said. “I’ve seen it in action: clients offsetting significant chunks of their power consumption using solar energy. Of course, individual results can vary, with factors like local utility rates, solar panel installation costs and even cooking habits playing a role.”
Can Our Grid Handle So Many Electric Stoves?
Could society be moving too fast on the prospective adoption of electric stoves? Faster than it can really handle? Some suggest it could be.
“Many legislative proposals to electrify everything from buildings to appliances to cars and trucks — while worthy goals — are being developed with arbitrary deadlines and no understanding of the state’s electric supply or capabilities of today’s distribution grid,” said James Shillitto, member of the Clean Energy Jobs Coalition and president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.
“There needs to be substantial increases in electric generation first, along with significant and costly upgrades to our utility distribution grids, before we start banning energy resources that are needed to keep the lights on and homes warm,” Shillitto said.
Mind you, as Musson points out, the power grid is already overly taxed in some regions.
“Eliminating gas stoves means that there will be a greater draw on the electricity grid,” Musson said. “As demand increases, you can expect price hikes and potentially rolling blackouts. To reduce that risk, use your stove during the evening and morning instead of during the peak electric draw hours of midday and afternoon.”
Ultimately, a Gas Stove Ban Could Be a Good Thing
Still, even with the resistance to it and the growing pains associated with it — especially the onus it places on already overworked electricity grids — saying goodbye to gas stoves will, in the long run, be the better choice for our planet, which is technically the only one we can afford to live on. And this ban could be the trigger needed to shift into more responsible eco-friendly behaviors overall.
“A ban on gas stoves may seem like an inconvenience at first; however, from where I’m standing in the industry, it could be just the catalyst we need to shift towards more sustainable practices at home,” Bramlett said. “Plus, the potential benefits for indoor air quality and overall health are often left out of the utility bills conversation.”
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