Appliance allegiance: Gas misconceptions are fueling carbon footprints at home
VANCOUVER: A new BC Hydro report finds despite having climate change concerns, British Columbians prefer natural gas appliances even though cleaner, cheaper electric options are available.
The report titled, “Home on the range: how natural gas appliances are quietly fueling carbon footprints," finds even though 42 per cent of British Columbians are concerned about their household’s carbon footprint, natural gas appliances are most popular. 1
“Many British Columbians said they are concerned about climate change, and its effects on everything from prices of everyday goods to unpredictable weather damaging their communities,” said Kyle Donaldson, BC Hydro spokesperson. “Still, BC Hydro data shows a quarter of households have at least one natural gas cooking appliance, such as a stove, and another quarter also have at least one gas fireplace. And, the use of natural gas appliances is on the rise. 2”
The survey found a major reason for allegiance to gas appliances is the perception that they are more effective than electric options. For example, 46 per cent of British Columbians said they prefer using a gas stove over electric, and of those most prefer gas because they say it is more responsive (69 per cent), cooks more evenly (68 per cent), or cooks faster (65 per cent). Similarly, 56 per cent of British Columbians said they prefer a gas fireplace over electric, and of those most said it heats better (54 per cent), and over half said it is easier to adjust, or that they like the real flame (73 per cent).
Natural gas appliances contribute about half a ton per year to a household’s greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of driving your fossil fueled car over 2,000 kilometres. Electricity is a much cleaner option in B.C. where 98 per cent of the electricity BC Hydro generates comes from clean or renewable resources that are mostly powered by water.
Choosing an electric stove or fireplace over gas options is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home. In most cases, electric stoves are cheaper than their gas counterparts, outperform gas stoves and easier to clean. In fact, electric convection ovens heat up quicker and distribute heat more evenly than gas, resulting in reduced cook times and less fuss.
Newer models for electric fireplaces have very realistic flame effects, without the environmental drawbacks of gas. Electric fireplaces are also less expensive to install and require little maintenance.
For more information on energy efficient appliances and heating visit bchydro.com.
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468
 Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury of 800 British Columbians between Jan 26 - 28, 2022 – margin of error 3.46 per cent.
 BC Hydro residential End Use Survey 2020