Why Most Americans Want Natural Gas
A new poll by the pro-electrification nonprofit Rewiring America confirms something that most people already probably know – people like having access to natural gas! When asked what kind of appliances they wanted in their homes, only 31% of respondents said electric only. What’s driving this strong support for natural gas?
The first consideration for most Americans is most likely affordability. The average natural gas heating system costs approximately $2,250. By contrast, the average electric heat pump costs between $7,500 and $10,000, with the most expensive models capping out at around $30,000 after installation.
The next consideration is how much those appliances cost to run. The average natural gas home saves about $1,068 per year compared to the average all-electric home. For an all-electric home with an advanced cold-climate heat pump, annual heating costs are still approximately $390 more than for a comparable natural gas home. Both upfront and in the long term, homes with access to natural gas save money.
Another reason many Americans like natural gas appliances? They’re more environmentally friendly than many of their electric alternatives! The average natural gas home has approximately 22% lower emissions than its all-electric equivalent. Comparing the most efficient natural gas appliances against their cold climate heat pump or heat pump water heater equivalents narrows the gap slightly, but a home with condensing natural gas space and water heaters will still have 11% lower emissions in comparison. Some customers might also be looking ahead to the further commercialization and rollout of natural gas heat pumps, which can lower the relative emissions for a natural gas home by a further 22% compared to a cold climate heat pump.
Depending on where they live, many Americans might be concerned about the reliability of their ability to cook and heat their homes, even during major power outages. While the average electric customer experiences one unplanned power outage per year, only one natural gas customer in 800 experiences an unplanned gas outage each year. The knowledge that even if the power goes out, they’ll still have natural gas is of tremendous importance to many customers, particularly those living in colder climates.
Finally, many people find that cooking with natural gas is something that just can’t be replicated by electric alternatives. There is, after all, a reason that 96% of professional chefs say they prefer cooking with natural gas. For many, the versatility, efficiency, and unique characteristics of a natural gas stove are an important part of how they cook.
So whether you’re cooking a family dinner this holiday season or relaxing by the natural gas fireplace, you can rest assured knowing that you’re benefiting from safe, reliable, and low-cost energy, all of which comes with a lower carbon footprint than most available alternatives.