January 30, 2024

Turning Down the Heat on Gas Stoves

The Biden administration claims its finalized rules won’t be as stringent as originally feared.

When has government ever made things less expensive?

Joe Biden was just out there this past weekend lying about how “inflation is coming down” and boasting of “all we’ve done to bring prices down.” No, the rate of inflation is slowing from historic highs, but average cumulative inflation, according to government numbers, is well over 17% since Biden “rescued” America in 2021. It’s far higher for the essentials of life like groceries, homes, and vehicles. Almost literally everything is far more expensive now than before Bidenomics came along.

Prices were also set to be a lot more for gas stoves when the administration last year pitched big-time regulations on efficiency. Industry experts concluded that those regulations would effectively ban most of the stoves currently on the market, not to mention making their replacements more expensive. Some jurisdictions like New York are explicitly banning gas stoves.

The administration vehemently denied wanting to “ban” anything. The do-gooders just want to save you money and save the planet, they insisted. They also claimed to be saving lives, pointing to (bogus) research about natural gas and asthma. (What is it with this administration and manipulating science?)

Well, there’s a bit of good news — we hope. Perhaps after the blowback, the administration did indeed back off a bit.

The Department of Energy did finalize those regulations, but the DOE says “approximately 97 percent of gas stove models and 77 percent of smooth electric stove models on the market already meet these standards.” Then again, 23% of electric stoves with smooth tops do not. In any case, compliance won’t be required until January 2028.

No one wants to waste money on inefficient things. But color us skeptical of the Energy Department’s fanciful claims about all the money we’re going to save.

DOE says these regulations “are projected to save Americans approximately $1.6 billion on their utility bills over 30 years.”

We’re curious to see what the industry does to stove prices in the next 30 months. And what’s $1.6 billion divided by 30 years divided by whatever number of households — about a quarter per family in savings?

Energy Secretary Jennifer “EV Misadventure” Granholm claims she’s working to overcome “a backlog of Congressionally-mandated energy efficiency actions that is delaying a projected $1 trillion in consumer savings from reaching the American people.”

Imagine if the Biden administration tried to save $1 trillion in one fiscal year budget.

The bad news about that backlog is that efficiency standards for dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, and various other home appliances have yet to be handed down by the experts who know best. Sure, your appliance might be a bit more efficient, but you also might have to wash your clothes or dishes twice. And you’ll almost certainly pay more money up front, only realizing the “savings” over time — assuming your appliance lasts long enough.

At best, government experts tell you only some of the story, usually the part that makes them sound benevolent. They hope you won’t know who to blame for the additional burden and expense.

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