Of all the energy hogs in Joseph Mulvaney’s home, his gas range was not the biggest offender. But earlier this month, he replaced it with an induction one anyway.
Mr. Mulvaney’s century-old three-bedroom house in Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island, is heated with a natural gas-fired boiler. So is his hot water. Those two items account for the overwhelming majority of the energy his home consumes. So if he really wanted to wean himself off fossil fuels and switch to a cleaner energy source, he would need to change how he heats his house. He buys into a solar community program, and considered adding a geothermal heating and cooling system, but was told it would cost $50,000.
Instead, he replaced his stove, a decision that made the smallest dent in his carbon footprint but may actually be one of the hardest hurdles to clear. It’s psychological. Who really cares about what kind of furnace they have? But anyone who likes to cook probably has a strong opinion about their stove. And electric stoves have a terrible reputation, evoking images of awkward coils that take forever to heat or cool and usually burn your food.
“I’ve always had gas everywhere I’ve ever lived, and same with my wife. That was the natural choice,” said Mr. Mulvaney, 41, a software engineer.
darling of the green energy movement. The stovetops are sleek, efficient and offer a palatable alternative to gas. The thinking goes: Give up the open flame now, and when it comes to time to replace the furnace and water heater, you won’t be reluctant to cap your gas line.
About a year ago, Mr. Mulvaney’s parents, who live in Britain, switched to induction, a decision that caught his attention. “They love it. They were talking about how easy it is to control the temperature,” said Mr. Mulvaney, who bought a Bertazzoni induction range for a little less than $4,000. “I’m looking forward to it being easier to clean as well.”
Our homes burn huge amounts of fossil fuels. Commercial and residential buildings account for 13 percent of U.S. gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In New York City, buildings are responsible for over 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gasses. Last year, the city took aim at gas stoves and boilers by banning gas hookups in new construction at the start of 2024, echoing similar legislation passed in other cities including Seattle and about 50 cities in California. Before long, New Yorkers moving into new buildings won’t have a choice. They’ll all be cooking on electric.
rap videos in the 1980s and, most recently, social media influencers raving about their gas burners.