Recent news has highlighted the health and environmental concerns associated with gas stoves, prompting a wave of building electrification policies across the United States. While this shift away from gas cooking will bring numerous benefits, it comes with important considerations that must be taken into account in order to make sure the transition is successful.
The fossil fuel industry is pushing back against these policies, taking its argument to federal court in an attempt to overturn local bans on natural gas infrastructure. Lobbyists are arguing that gas-powered appliances are more affordable and widely available than electric alternatives, putting low-income households at a disadvantage if they are not able to keep up with the electrification trends.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to cooking with harmful gases or expensive electrical equipment: induction cooktops. Induction technology was first introduced at the 1933 World Fair in Chicago and has been gaining traction due to its efficiency and safety benefits compared to other electric or gas stoves. In addition, it does not produce any emissions or odors like traditional gas stoves do.
So why has induction cooking not taken off? Our Principal Architect, Lauren Adams, has talked through the benefits of induction with countless clients since she installed it in her own home back in 2010. She notes that her cooktop:
- Boils water in two minutes or less
- Provides a safer cooking surface for her kids as induction heats the pan, not the surface around it
- Provides the most energy efficient cooking without any unwanted smells or fumes
- Is a glass surface that’s easy to clean and does not require the removal of grills and grates
At LETTER FOUR, we’ve asked our clients why they prefer gas, and these have been the most popular responses:
- “I’m just used to cooking with gas”
- “Induction stovetops look like the old, cheap electric stoves, so I don’t think they’re suitable for my high-end home.”
- “I already have gas installed, so I’ll just stick with that even though I’m tearing down the majoring of the existing house.”
Times are changing and the excuses that we used to hear are no longer going to be acceptable in the state of California.
California homeowners have an opportunity to contribute towards California’s goal of reducing air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels through building electrification. One area where they can start is by switching out their old gas- or electric-powered stove with an induction cooktop—a type of stovetop that uses electromagnetic fields that generate heat directly on the cooking surface. Not only is this option more energy efficient, but it offers numerous other benefits such as faster heating times and precise temperature control without preheating or post cooling. California homeowners can also benefit from various financial incentives provided by the state's California Electric Homes Program (CalEHP). Ultimately, transitioning to an induction stove is a great way for California homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying all the health and safety benefits it provides. With these incentives and the many advantages of induction cooking, California can help lead the way in building electrification while providing its citizens with a cleaner and safer cooking experience.
Considering building a new home in Los Angeles? We just entered into a new code cycle at the start of 2023. Effective April 1st, 2023, Los Angeles will require that all newly built homes be all-electric. This not only will mean that cooktops must be induction, but that HVAC equipment, water heaters, etc. do not use gas.
Although induction cooktops cost more than their counterparts upfront, they are expected to become more affordable as demand increases–especially with new incentives from states such as point-of-sale rebates for low-to middle income households that install electric ranges or upgrade electrical panels. Also, given high gas prices and the energy efficiency of induction, lower life cycle costs should offset initial purchase costs. Installation does require proper electrical capacity, so check with your local general contractor, like LETTER FOUR, or licensed electrician.
Ultimately, building electrification policies could have far reaching implications when it comes to protecting public health from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, though it is important for electricity to come from clean sources, like solar, to minimize environmental harm. Although it might require some additional investment upfront, switching over to an induction stove can help ensure that families aren't exposed to potentially dangerous toxins while enjoying tasty meals prepared in their own homes, which are easy to clean up after.
If you're interested in exploring other modern home technologies, check out a recent post on the advantages of electric fireplaces versus bio-ethanol fireplaces by Modern Ethanol Fireplaces.
Interested in building a new, all-electric home in Los Angeles? Reach out to LETTER FOUR, LA’s premiere Design-Build firm today to start talking about your options!