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Climate-Proofing Your Home: How to Electrify

Replacing your gas furnace, water heater, stove, and clothes dryer promises to lock in long-term environmental and economic benefits—but beware of surprise costs.

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Illustration: Joel Plosz for Bloomberg Green

The future is looking electric as a growing roster of cities bar the use of natural gas in new residential construction in a bid to lower greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate targets. In just the past two months, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, California, have enacted gas bans, joining more than three dozen other municipalities that have done so since 2019.

New construction, though, is a small fraction of the housing stock. Homeowners can multiply the impact of gas bans by retrofitting existing dwellings when appliances reach the end of their useful lives, according to Sam Calisch, a researcher at Rewiring America, a California nonprofit that promotes home electrification.