Letters to the Editor: L.A. is banning most gas use in new buildings. Can our electric system handle it?

A person places their hand on an electricity-powered induction cooktop.
An electricity-powered induction cooktop.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Regarding all the additional electric stoves, clothes dryers, water heaters and furnaces that will be required under Los Angeles’ ban on most gas use in new construction, I have never seen a proper accounting of the additional electricity needed to power all those new devices.

Currently, we in Southern California (and actually much of California) experience blackouts during periods of peak demand. The new dryers, heaters and other appliances will definitely raise energy demand. How do utilities plan to feed the countless new devices, and also provide additional nightly power to charge up those expected electric car and home storage batteries?

Over time, the public has become educated in the math (and myths) of energy generation and use — and the occasional virtue-signaling by lawmakers. We require full explanations, as our future depends on it.


Fred Reimer, Los Angeles


To the editor: I applaud L.A.’s transition away from fossil fuels in buildings, but I am disturbed that gas utilities are intimating that hydrogen will play a role in making buildings green. A look at the facts shows otherwise.

Using an electric heat pump is about six times as efficient as burning so-called green hydrogen (meaning it has been developed using renewable energy) for water or space heating.

Hydrogen also is not compatible with most piping in the gas distribution system. It requires water to produce, and it cannot be burned in natural gas appliances. All your appliances would need replacing or retrofitting.

Gas utilities would love to upgrade their systems for hydrogen and pass the bill to ratepayers. But why lock in customers for decades with old technology when better solutions are here now?

Wayne Morgan, Ventura