The Department of Energy unveiled a heavily anticipated, scaled-back regulation Monday to cut greenhouse gas emissions from stovetop cooking in the U.S., going with a compromise that pleased gas stove producers and environmentalists alike.
Stoves that consume 1,770 thousand British thermal units (kBtu) per year of gas will be permitted under the new regulation, which aligns with a compromise floated last year by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and the environmental group Appliance Standards Awareness Project. That’s a much more flexible regulation than the 1,204-kBtu threshold initially proposed by DOE.
The decision follows months of political drama over allegations that Biden administration officials wanted to ban gas stoves from American’s homes. Republicans and some moderate Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), repeatedly blasted the administration over the plan to regulate gas stoves.
Along with a rulemaking process at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that could potentially restrict American access to gas stoves, critics said federal rules on gas stoves represents a federal infringement on American lives. Lawmakers introduced legislation to prohibit gas stove action at DOE and the CPSC.
But the regulation, following months of aggressive industry pressure on DOE to abandon its plan, found a positive reception among industry.
“This standard is a win for consumers appliance, manufacturers, and energy savings,” Kelly Mariotti, president of AHAM, said in a statement. “Manufacturers will have the flexibility they need to continue, offering the features and performance that consumers value in gas cooking products.”
DOE was legally required by court decree to release the regulation by the end of January.
The department is also required by law to periodically update efficiency standards for a wide range of consumer and industrial appliances and equipment.
DOE said the regulation would only impact 3 percent of gas stoves on the market. The regulation is set to take effect in early 2028.
DOE “expects the standards to decrease harmful carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4 million metric tons cumulatively over 30 years — an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions associated with the energy use of 500,000 households,” the department said Monday.
The American Gas Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. The industry group is suing DOE to block a separate rule on gas furnaces.