I wondered when people would put the brakes on the progressive nonsense on things like banning natural gas in residential and commercial buildings. It seemed like I was the only one who did the math and declared it insane. I was surprised that the DOE, who not very long ago waged a war on using electricity in homes, had switched their position. Oh … wait a minute … shouldn’t our national research organization simply let the chips fall where they may?
A recent report from New York State does a masterful job of setting these questions back on solid footing: NY’s Electric-Heat Push Faces Cold Reality: Report – Empire Center for Public Policy
This report has a huge amount of carefully curated data that we all should consider. Everyone outside of the Northeast thinks New Yorkers all live in high rise apartments. This report shows the diversity of New York State and its residents. But, even with all this detail and diversity they come to this summary:
In Cold Reality: The Cost and Challenge of Compulsory Home Electrification in New York, Empire Center fellow James Hanley looks at the state’s plan to prohibit homeowners from replacing gas and oil furnaces after 2029 and for them to instead install heat pumps. Homeowners, he explains, face both higher equipment costs and potentially high weatherization costs to accommodate heat pumps, which can operate at lower monthly costs but require better insulation.
Even with extensive state and federal subsidies, Hanley warns, the upfront price-tag of heat pumps and weatherization will likely push homeowners to instead buy low-cost but energy-hungry electric furnaces that will put considerably greater stress on the electric grid—making the state’s overall electrification goals harder to reach.
“This is the fundamental problem at the heart of New York’s command-and-control attempt to restructure its economy to make what amount to barely detectable reductions in global emissions,” said Hanley. “Albany can ban things, but it can’t control how people replace them.”
The simple fact remains. We have a huge job of public education ahead of us, especially for politicians, legislators, and everyone in the news media. They are leading us off the cliff for sure. If we are going to solve the long-term energy and climate questions, we need to move past seemingly simple answers that simply will not work.