Small Gas Uses

Gas burner that's on with a kettle on top.

Gas Stoves, Fireplaces, Outdoor Heaters 

Gas stove tops, fireplaces, and other small gas appliances are only responsible for 3% of gas usage and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.  As Denver works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and homes City and County of Denver staff are most focused on reducing the 97% of building and home natural gas emissions that come from space and water heat through a transition to renewable heating and cooling. Though the City and County of Denver is not currently considering mandates focused specifically on small gas appliances, there are community health implications associated with some of these appliances as well as less harmful alternatives.  

How can you cut 97% of the climate impact of your gas use? 

Plan to electrify space and water heat! 

Ways to Reduce the 3% of Your Gas Use from Small Gas Appliances

Gas Stove Alternatives and Health Impacts

Electric Induction Stove Tops

Induction cooking units are much more efficient and safer than both electric and gas counterparts. Induction cooking works by heating the pot or pan through electromagnetic waves rather than the stovetop itself. This means there is no wasted heat in the process, a spill is not going to burn onto the stovetop or, in the event of an oil spill, cause a kitchen fire. The top six of eight ranges selected by Consumer Reports in 2020 were electric, and the top two were induction cooktops. Electric induction ranges can also be used in commercial or restaurant environments and are more effective for cooking processes that require precise cooking or holding temperatures as well as providing a more comfortable experience for food-service workers by not heating up the surrounding space, but only the pot or pan. Induction stoves can come with a higher upfront cost. 

Electric Resistance Stove Tops (conventional electric stoves)

Electric resistance ranges often have lower upfront costs and eliminate the negative impacts of gas cooking on indoor air quality.  

Gas Stove Health Impacts

Gas cook stoves also have additional health and climate risks. 

Increased Asthma Risk 

study by RMI found children in a home with a gas stove have a 24–42% increased risk of having asthma. Because we spend up to 90% of our lives inside buildings (U.S. EPA), indoor air quality is paramount to the health of Denver residents and their loved ones.

Leaks from Gas Appliances

Stanford study found that natural gas stoves leak up to 1.3 percent of the gas they use as unburned methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Gas stoves can release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other harmful pollutants, which can be harmful to people and pets. Exposure can cause or worsen health problems such as nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Young children and people with asthma or heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable to indoor air pollution. Source: CA Air Resources Board 

One thing all Denverites can do to improve indoor air quality in the kitchen is to turn on exhaust fans while cooking.

Fireplace Alternatives

Electric Fireplaces

Many consumers are familiar with electric resistance fireplaces, but a better electric alternatives exist. Fireplace manufacturers continue to rise the challenge of creating a look as close to a natural wood fire as possible. One example is “water vapor fireplaces” which provide both the look and feel of a real fire with swirling fire-like water vapor and LED lights. This technology utilizes a 120V outlet and can warm spaces up to 800 square feet – sufficient for both commercial and residential uses. Most importantly, unlike their gas counterparts, the electric options do not emit carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide. 

Outdoor Heater Alternatives

Electric Patio/Outdoor Heaters

The electric counterparts to propone patio heaters, like those used for outdoor dining, plug into either 120V or 240V outlets and use infrared technology that does not waste energy heating the space around the people, but instead heats up surfaces– such as people or their clothing – directly. Most importantly, this warming effect is not impacted by a breeze or wind as the infrared technology only heats solid objects. 

If you represent a restaurant that uses electric induction cooking equipment or are a user of any of the above electric alternatives to gas appliances, please contact us if you’re willing to share your experience. 

If you are a home or building owner, developer, renter, or other interested member of our community and want to share resources, expertise, or input on all-electric net zero energy new buildings and homes, sign up for our stakeholder contact list.