The Department of Energy proposed a new rule earlier this year that would impose stricter conditions on gas-powered stoves, requiring millions of American’s stoves to be modified for “energy efficiency.” The expensive changes would effectively force many Americans to buy cheaper electric stoves instead.
During testimony before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Economic Growth, and Regulatory Affairs on Tuesday, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) challenged Geraldine Richmond, the Biden administration official overseeing the rule change, on what it takes to install an electric stove where a gas stove once stood.
“If you’re not making a lot of money, you can’t afford the expensive [gas stove] that will meet [the DOE’s standards] so you’ve got to buy the [electric] one. I’m glad the Department of Energy is saving everybody a bunch of money by forcing them to spend a bunch of money. If you have a gas stove in your home right now, and there’s a gas line coming to it, you probably have a 110 connection. Do you know what it takes to put an electric stove in your home?” Perry asked.
“No, I don’t,” Richmond replied.
“Here I do!” Perry responded. “You’ve got to run a 220 line, which means you’ve probably got to get an electrician because unless you know how to do that yourself, you’re playing with potentially losing your life and electrocuting yourself. Your township and municipality is not going to let you do it, you’re going to have to hire someone to come in and drill holes in your floor and pull wire to the panel and hook that whole thing up.”
“How much is that going to cost? Is that included in your efficiency savings calculation? Is that whole operation included? Especially for poor people who are just happy to have a gas stove,” he added.
Richmond insisted the rule does not require anyone to change to an electric stove, prompting Perry to push back on her claim.
“So when your stove dies, when your stove no longer works, and the Department of Energy has determined you can’t buy [an inexpensive gas stove], you have to buy the expensive ones or an electric one, because that’s all you can afford, and then you have to run electricity, I’m just asking: have you included that in your calculation of saving us all from ourselves?” Perry asked.
“We’re strongly in favor of consumer choice,” Richmond replied before Perry interrupted her, saying, “Apparently not!”