Attitudes on Natural Gas Bans Aren't Changing Much — but Support Is Rising for Strengthened Energy Efficiency Standards
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A measure aimed at banning natural gas hookups in new construction in Berkeley, Calif., was overturned by a federal appeals court this month, as the California Restaurant Association argued that the city had violated a law that gives the federal government the authority to set energy-efficiency standards for appliances.
While public backing for natural gas bans has not changed much from the beginning of this year, support is higher for stricter energy efficiency standards and has grown among Republicans, according to a Morning Consult survey.
Public Slightly More Likely Than Not to Back Natural Gas Bans in New Construction in Their Communities
Support rises among Republicans for natural gas hookup ban in their communities
- Support for natural gas bans has not substantially changed since January, with 44% of U.S. adults in the latest survey saying they would back the proposal and 38% opposed to it. The share of support among Democrats (56%) also remained unchanged since January.
- Meanwhile, support for the bans among Republicans grew to 34% in April, an increase of 6 percentage points from January, when a noisy debate surfaced after a member on the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested that a ban on gas stoves could be on the table.
- More than 2 in 5 gas stove owners would support a natural gas hookup ban in their community, similar to the share who said the same in January.
- Two in 3 adults would consider purchasing an electric cooktop in the next 10 years, while about half say they would be interested in a gas stove. Among political parties, more than half of Democrats and Republicans would purchase a gas stove in the next decade, compared to 7 in 10 Democrats and 2 in 3 Republicans who would buy an electric stove.
Nearly 3 in 5 Adults Back Stricter U.S. Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances and Buildings
Republicans add to growing support for stricter energy efficiency standards
- About 3 in 5 adults would support stricter U.S. energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, including a nearly equal share of gas stove owners.
- A strong majority of Democrats (73%) and a plurality of Republicans (48%) back the stronger energy standards.
- Republicans saw the largest increase in support for stricter standards, growing by 11 points since January. In 2021, a little more than half of Republicans (53%) supported the more stringent standards.
Stricter energy efficiency standards, natural gas hookup bans regain support from Republicans
Months after the gas stove culture wars, Republican adults are starting to support stricter energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings at levels last seen in 2021, while also slightly growing their support for banning natural gas hookups in their communities.
The impact that the recently overturned ban in Berkeley, Calif., might have on other cities that have adopted their own bans is not clear, but it could have a chilling effect in places wanting to pass similar bans.
The April 20-22, 2023, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,201 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Julia Martinez is a data reporter at Morning Consult covering energy and climate change. @ByJuliaMartinez