If you’re looking for another reason to electrify your house and quit PGW, fresh research describes how scientists with PSE Healthy Energy examining samples of fossil gas from homes across the state of California found volatile organic compounds, including the carcinogen benzene. A study from this summer found similar mixes of pollutants in gas provided to Massachusetts homes. PSE Healthy Energy has also found that gas appliances routinely leak small amounts of unburned gas, even when they’re not on.
Emission of pollutants such as nitrous oxides from the burning of fossil gas in gas stoves has already been well documented, as has the link to childhood asthma. Of course burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. All of this gives homeowners plenty of reasons to switch to electric stoves, furnaces and water heaters.
Unfortunately, making the switch is expensive. As Grid has reported, Philadelphia, which owns PGW, has done little to help homeowners electrify the gas-burning brick houses that dominate the city’s landscape and housing market or to develop the geothermal heat pump networks that could be part of the solution.
Perhaps more evidence that fossil gas is poisoning people, in addition to the planet, will help move elected leaders to act.