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Letters to the Editor: Why switching to all-electric homes in California would be a mistake

An aerial view shows roofs with solar panels
An aerial view of the Dry Creek Villas, an energy-efficient senior housing development in Rancho Cucamonga.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Our nation must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but your call for California to ban natural gas hookups in new residential construction is dead wrong.

California has nearly 119,000 miles of natural gas pipelines that connect more than 11 million homes, upward of 445,000 businesses and 36,000 manufacturers with affordable energy. All of this helps the Golden State continue to be a destination for residents and businesses, stanching the recent trend of major companies fleeing to Texas.

A nationwide study of the implications of policy-driven electrification by the American Gas Assn. showed that switching natural gas customers over to the electric system could raise average household energy-related costs up to $910 per year when you factor in appliance costs, higher utility bills and covering the expense of upgrading our electrical grid to handle all of these new customers.

Finally, after criticizing the state’s electricity grid and its reliability, it astounds me that you expect it to handle three times the power load to meet the new commitments on electric cars and building electrification.

We need solutions, but they must also be real and achievable.

Karen Harbert, Washington

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The writer is president and chief executive of the American Gas Assn.

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To the editor: I think there are at least two things to consider before banning residential use of natural gas.

First, as far as I know, no devastating wildfires in California have been caused by a ruptured gas line, while quite a few have been ignited by malfunctioning electric lines.

Second, in an all-electric home, when the power goes out so does the ability to heat and cook. Friends who live in Texas recently experienced this when, as the only gas-heated house on their block, neighbors who lost power came to their house to warm up.

Donald Nollar, Los Angeles


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