New bill would help DC residents get rid of their gas stoves

D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen re-introduced legislation on Tuesday that would help D.C. residents switch to electric or induction stoves. 

The Healthy Homes and Residential Electrification Amendment Act of 2023 would use federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to help households earning less than $80,000 make the switch to electric with no out-of-pocket costs to purchase and install electric stoves and electric heat. 

The drive for D.C. residents to move away from gas stoves and heat is in part due to recent reports that say gas stoves release carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide which can potentially cause cardiovascular problems, cancer and other health conditions.

There's also concern about the environmental effect. 

"If the District is going to hit its own goals for reducing carbon emissions and mitigate the worst-case scenarios for climate change, completing the switch away from natural gas must happen at the household level very quickly," said a statement from Councilmember Allen. 

Allen worked closely with the Sierra Club DC and the Washington Interfaith Network in crafting the bill. 

"Every resident in the District deserves to breathe clean air no matter where they live. With this legislation, we are one step closer to a District filled with clean green and healthy homes for all," said WIN's Reverend André N. Greene. "Too often, I hear of families going another winter with a barely functioning furnace or with heating bills that they cannot pay. My hope is that by taking advantage of free retrofits, those residents can both save on their monthly utility bills and have a healthier, safer, and more comfortable home for their family."

The bill would also prohibit the DC Housing Authority from installing fossil fuel-burning appliances and heating systems in redeveloping public housing.  

"It is rare to have a moment where making a change like this is the right call on so many fronts: we can ensure that residents can afford to have cleaner air in their homes, lower their household energy bills, and the upgrades to their homes will be much, much better for the environment overall," said Allen.