Letters to the Editor: Ban gas in homes? Edison and DWP aren’t reliable enough electricity providers

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's gas-fired Scattergood plant
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s gas-fired Scattergood plant is seen from El Segundo in 2019.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am all for clean air. I have installed solar panels and drive an electric car, but the thought of depending on Southern California Edison or the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to provide constant service would be laughable if it weren’t so risky. (“Should California ban gas in new homes? A climate battle heats up,” Dec. 7)

Unfortunately, gas furnaces and water heaters depend on electricity to start, but at least with a gas stove, foods melting in the freezer during a power outage can be cooked.

Before all-electric homes proliferate in California, it is imperative that the major electric utilities get their acts together so we don’t find ourselves sitting in the dark or — as was the case with my friend in Cleveland — sitting laden with blankets in front of a gas fireplace in the dark for five days after a storm knocks out our electricity.


Do not phase out natural gas until electric utilities are more reliable.

Bonnie Sanders, Malibu


To the editor: Home builder Tim Kohut says, “I don’t win any arguments because of environmentalism. I make the dollar and cents argument.” If he actually did that fairly, he would lose every time.

Southern California Gas’ residential rates peak at $1.52 per therm. SoCal Edison’s residential rates peak at 35 cents per kilowatt-hour. One therm translates to 29.3 kwh, so Edison’s rate converts to $10.25 per therm, or nearly seven times what the SoCal Gas charges for the same energy.

Furthermore, requiring all-electric homes will not reduce gas consumption right now. Natural gas power plants account for about 43% of the electricity generated in California. To add insult to injury, recent Santa Ana winds in Southern California have resulted in power shutoffs to thousands of customers.

California is increasingly unaffordable for ordinary Americans. Requiring all-electric homes would make things even worse.

Robert Helbing, Monrovia


The writer, president of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, owns a heating and air conditioning company.


To the editor: This article as a whole appears to be based on the mistaken assumption that electricity is superior to natural gas as a home energy source.

As a retired career physicist and engineer, I am compelled to point out that this is only true if the electrical energy is produced from hydroelectric, wind or solar sources. If the electricity is produced in natural gas-fired power plants, the result is an increase in our contribution to global warming.

This is due to the simultaneous and unavoidable creation of entropy, which is released on Earth as heat. Entropy is nature’s way of saying, “Gotcha!”

Going all-electric reduces global warming if the electric power employed is not produced from fossil fuel burning.

Lane Darnton, Goleta