On March 15, the nine-county Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) voted to phase out ‘natural’ gas furnaces and water heaters starting in 2027. The goal is to eliminate emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a significant cause of serious health problems.
As the rules take effect, only heaters that don’t emit NOx (in other words, only all-electric water heaters, furnaces, and heat pumps) will be permitted in new construction. What’s more, if a gas-powered heater in an existing building needs to be replaced, the new appliance must not emit NOx.
BAAQMD’s new rules provide a model for the rest of the country in cutting NOx emissions. This is a huge step forward!