As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, initiatives to lessen greenhouse gases are appearing on many fronts. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission proposed ending or modifying the gas line extension credit to encourage electrification of utilities in Colorado homes.
According to the Denver Business Journal, state utility regulators are debating pushing the cost of building natural gas lines to new homes onto homebuilders rather than the current practice of spreading it among existing ratepayers.
The change, proponents say, would “end incentives to build homes that use fossil fuels for heating and cooking,” notes the Journal, “encouraging the electrification of new housing and eliminating the growth of a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.”
The Journal notes that the use of electric heaters and electric water heating (versus natural gas) cuts greenhouse emissions substantially. “[A]s electricity is increasingly provided by renewable sources such as wind and solar, electrification promises the possibility of nearly emissions-free housing.” Currently, buildings heated with natural gas are the third largest source of greenhouse gases in the state.
After taking more feedback on the issue, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission plans to make a decision on the issue later this year.