February 23, 2024

Following a year of hand-wringing over the possibility that the federal government might decide to ban gas stoves, the Department of Energy this week announced new energy-efficiency guidelines for gas and electric stoves that “make modest improvements” to the standard, the agency said. 

Approximately 97 percent of gas stove models and 77 percent of smooth electric stove models on the market will meet these standards, according to the Energy Department, when they take effect in four years. That 97% figure of gas stoves that already meet the guideline is significantly higher than the 50% that the agency projected a year ago would not make the cut.

The initial project and subsequent reports that the government was looking to ban gas stoves quickly became a political issue. “This is a recipe for disaster,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin tweeted. “The federal government has no business telling American families how to cook their dinner.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican and former candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, tweeted, “Don’t tread on Florida, and don’t mess with gas stoves!” 

Here’s what to know about the new energy standard for electric and gas cooktops and oven ranges. For more, here’s how to take control of your home’s energy and tax breaks you can take as a homeowner this year.

What will be the new energy-efficiency requirements for gas and electric stoves and ovens?

These new requirements, which are set to take effect on Jan. 31, 2028, are aimed at both increasing the energy efficiency of appliances and reducing the environmental impact, the Energy Department said. According to the agency, these changes are predicted to save Americans $1.6 billion on their energy bills over the next 30 years. Additionally, the department predicts that this change in regulations could cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 4 million metric tons over the same period of time. 

In a statement detailing the changes, the DOE said, “Today’s announcement reinforces the long trajectory of consumer savings that DOE continues to deliver by regularly updating energy efficiency standards.”

According to The Hill, the efficiency rule will allow for gas stoves that use 1.77 million British Thermal Units of energy per year, up from the 1.204 million BTU allowed in its initial proposal. 

Why are we talking about this? 

This change in regulations comes after years of debate over gas stoves’ and ovens’ poor energy efficiency, and the health risks that they pose to those living in homes with gas stoves. The use of gas stoves has been linked to both an uptick in childhood asthma and other health risks. Beyond risks that gas stoves pose to human health, gas stoves and ovens have also come under fire for the threat they pose to the environment. 

According to the Energy Department, its final regulations are primarily aimed at saving consumers money and reducing the environmental impact of gas stoves and ovens.

Where are gas stoves banned right now? 

If you’re worrying about an outright ban on gas stoves, don’t fret. In a post addressing misinformation on new appliance standards, the Energy Department has said that “claims that the federal government is banning gas stoves are absurd.” The agency went on to clarify that there are no plans to ban gas stoves at the federal level. 

Additionally, these new regulations won’t affect the gas stove you currently have in your home, or remove other popular features. “The standards will not result in the loss of any consumer-desired features in future models, such as continuous cast-iron grates, high input rate burners and other specialty burners,” the agency said.

Despite the agency’s assurance that there would be no federal-level ban on gas ovens and stoves and the House of Representatives passing legislation blocking a ban on gas stoves and ovens, some states and cities have taken action to ban natural gas hookups for gas appliances. However, some of these municipalities have been facing resistance from federal courts — with bans on natural gas being overturned or blocked. 

According to a tracker from the nonprofit Building Decarbonization Coalition, there are 143 local governments with policies regulating or banning the use of natural gas and six states with similar statewide policies. 

For more, here’s a way to save on your energy bill and our picks for best smart thermostats.