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The Elimination of Residential Use of Natural Gas could cost $5.9B

According to a new study, electrifying homes that currently use Natural Gas could go a long way toward reducing San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions, but the initiative would be costly, costing up to $5.9 billion. Natural Gas combustion in buildings accounts for about 38% of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions. is primarily used in residential buildings for appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, ovens, and dryers.

Supervisor Gordon Mar, who requested the budget analyst report, stated that the city would not be able to achieve its climate targets unless its residential buildings are electrified. By 2045, San Francisco expects to be carbon-neutral. The new study shows, the “key barrier” to achieving an electric retrofit of existing homes is the “financial burden,” but greenhouse gas emissions in the city “could be dramatically reduced.”

Mar said, “Electrifying our homes is a monumental challenge and an environmental necessity.” According to the survey, the cost of an electrical appliance retrofit in a house ranges from $14,363 per housing unit to $19,574 for multi-family units and $34,790 for single-family homes. Disposal of old appliances, purchase of new appliances, labor, and electrical panel improvements are all included in the price.

Natural Gas is used in some or all of the appliances in 240,231 housing units in San Francisco, or around 61 percent of the total housing stock. There are 76,470 single-family homes and 163,761 multi-family homes in the total. The cost of switching from Natural Gas to electric appliances is expected to be between $3.5 billion and $5.9 billion.

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