Did you know that gas appliances in homes and buildings generate four times more lung-damaging Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions than California’s gas power plants and nearly two-thirds as much NOx as California’s 16 million passenger cars? A recent report from the Sierra Club, SPUR, and Rocky Mountain Institute finds that gas appliances significantly contribute to outdoor smog and particulate matter pollution in California.
This means that switching to electric appliances will meaningfully improve air quality, and state and local air quality agencies can help accelerate this transition with stronger appliance emission standards.
Our local Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is working on passing two new regulations that will require all water heaters and home furnaces to be zero-NOx emitting by 2027 and 2029 respectively. This is a huge opportunity to take action to keep dangerous pollution out of our homes and communities. We need to urge BAAQMD to update their rules that regulate NOx emissions from homes and buildings for a healthier and more equitable Bay Area!
Not only will zero-NOx regulations reduce air pollution, but they will help avoid 39-89 potential premature deaths per year and $410-930 million per year of healthcare costs in the Bay Area alone (BAAQMD Building Appliance Rules: Health and Equity Benefits). We know that the health impacts from pollution already disproportionately affect underserved communities, so updating regulations is key to advancing equity in the Bay Area.