APGA is becoming increasingly concerned that there are some who are aggressively pushing to move the end-use energy market towards an all-electric society, as exemplified in the “Green New Deal” (GND). This push towards electrification would remove the ability of consumers to choose the appliance that best suits their needs while significantly increasing energy costs.
In addition, any claim that current technologies exist to carry-out all of the GND policy objectives are dubious at best. For example, any claim that the electric grid is capable to deliver adequate energy to consumers and businesses during extreme cold weather events is simply not true; as is the ability of the U.S. housing stock to accommodate the increase in electric load. In the residential sector alone, natural gas provides about the same total energy as electricity, each at approximately 4.7 quadrillion Btus (quads).
This approach ignores the many benefits that the direct use of natural gas provides. The benefits of natural gas go well beyond just affordability, reliability and resilience. The direct use of natural gas reduces greenhouse gas and should play a major role in discussions about how to address both climate change and air quality.
More than 175 million Americans use natural gas in their home or business. Those pushing electrification would eliminate the lowest-cost energy delivered to homes and businesses, one that is the smallest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions for residential and commercial buildings. Households that use all-electric appliances pay almost $900 a year more for utilities than those that have the traditional mix of natural gas and electricity. When one in three households are facing challenges in paying their utility bills., does forcing consumers to switch from their economical natural gas appliances to electric appliances make sense or will it only make matters worse?
Choosing clean energy sources should not mean abandoning your natural gas appliances. Pursuing clean energy should include looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, utilizing the current energy infrastructure in the most efficient way, and planning for our energy future in a way that protects consumer options, balances their energy needs and ultimately ensures our energy infrastructure is secure and economical for future generations. Congress should recognize the essential role the direct use of natural gas plays in America’s energy matrix when considering energy policy proposals.