How Lawmakers Are Quietly Trying to Take Away Your Gas Stove

By Joni Inman

Home cooks beware: Colorado Democrats in the State Legislature are attempting to pass a bill that is the first step in banning the use of your gas stove and will increase the cost of housing in the state. 

Unlike in California, where cities are straight up banning the use of natural gas, our legislators are using a stealth approach to forever alter the way you cook your food. 

The bill, HB22-1362, has no bipartisan support but it marched out of the House Committee on Energy and Environment pretty much under the radar with little public engagement. The bill would mandate that certain newly constructed and renovated homes in Colorado be built under the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) – a strict building standard that would make accessing natural gas more difficult and more expensive. 

We already know that this is the end goal of the legislation because of what’s happening in Louisville where residents are struggling to rebuild after the Marshall fire. Last year, the city had voted to implement the 2021 IECC along with additional policies that would “require that newly constructed residential and commercial buildings [be] built either with all electric systems and appliances.”

“All electric systems and appliances” are clear code words for no more gas stoves. 

Thankfully the city backed off after homeowners protested over increased costs, as the AP reported: “The council voted 5-2 to allow affected residents to rebuild under the city’s 2018 codes instead of the 2021 codes. … After the fire, some residents complained that the regulations would add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of rebuilding.”

To keep this process even further out of the public eye, the bill also requires that “the Colorado Energy Office shall identify for adoption model electric and solar ready code language.”

That’s more code words for unelected bureaucrats who will write some as-yet-to-be-determined rules that are another step toward banning your gas stove. 

Confused yet? That’s the point. 

In a Colorado Women’s Alliance poll of Colorado’s female voters, women identified the rising cost of housing as one of their top policy concerns. This bill does nothing but add to the cost. At a time of skyrocketing inflation and rising energy prices, this is pure madness.

This is how the political process works nowadays. Politicians won’t tell you that they are taking away your gas stove, they just start a years-long regulatory process behind the scenes, and one day, you wake up and you’re unable to build a new home or remodel your kitchen with a gas stove. 

So, for those who want to cook over an open flame, or heat their homes with inexpensive natural gas, you might want to pay attention to what’s going on behind the scenes at the State Capitol.  Women and families cannot afford to pay the ultimate cost of this bill.


About the Author:

Joni Inman is the Executive Director of the Colorado Women’s Alliance.