Will Massachusetts ban gas stoves for new construction?
A Boston-area push to restrict natural gas use in new construction is evolving into a statewide campaign for building electrification mandates.
A dozen towns and cities across Massachusetts have partnered with the Rocky Mountain Institute, or RMI, to advocate for the right to require all-electric construction in their communities. The communities ultimately aim to change Massachusetts law, allowing local governments to pursue climate goals through building electrification.
The campaign follows Attorney General Maura Healey’s July 2020 decision to strike down the East Coast’s first building gas ban in Brookline, Mass. Based on a pioneering Berkeley, Calif., ordinance, the Brookline bylaw blocked building permits for construction or major renovations that included gas piping for space and water heating.
Following Healey’s decision, building electrification backers regrouped and workshopped alternative pathways to achieve building electrification. The effort coincided with the formation of the RMI’s Massachusetts Building Electrification Accelerator, a partnership among the RMI, Bay State climate activists and local officials.
Twelve cities have publicly joined the accelerator: Amherst, Arlington, Ashland, Belmont, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Ipswich, Lexington, Melrose, Salem and Worcester. Several other municipalities have engaged with the project but have not yet publicly announced their affiliation.
In one recent study nearly 75% want electric appliances? Howver, I have never met anyone who would give up their gas stove. Have you?