Tag: ComEd

Chicago proposes prohibiting gas for heating & cooking in new construction homes

Update: The Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance (CABO) was sent to the rules committee today, 1/24/24. It will need 26 votes to be re-referred to the environmental protection and energy committee. [Per Heather Cherone]

Ordinance: O2024-0007305

Name: Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance (CABO)
Purpose: Improve indoor air quality, reduce heating costs, and reduce the city’s contribution to climate change
Mechanism: By amending the Chicago Construction Codes, new construction residences would not be able to have most types of combustion [1] used as the source of energy for cooking, water heating, and space heating [2].

The bulk of the code amendment is shown below.

The Clean and Affordable Buildings Ordinance would amend Chicago Construction Codes section 14N-R6.

This follows a previous building code amendment that required that any new construction housing built with combustion appliances also has the necessary electricity infrastructure – like higher amp circuits and higher voltage outlets – to enable swapping appliances for electric-only models. The Chicago Energy Transformation Code took effect November 1, 2022.

Many buildings are already being built all-electric because of the cost savings for builders and tenants, simpler designs, and the desire by some tenants to have cleaner indoor air. ComEd has an electric homes program that pays builders up to $5,000 per unit for going all-electric.

I believe that most tenants will realize at least a small improvement in their living arrangements by moving from a place that uses gas for heating and cooking to a place that is all-electric. In fact, I think they will ultimately appreciate the lower energy costs – the most significant cost change is the lack of a $30-50 monthly customer charge from Peoples Gas.

Additionally, much of the costs of buying and installing electric appliances in new construction homes (and renovated homes) is being subsidized by the Inflation Reduction Act.

The ordinance’s next steps are to be assigned to a City Council committee, passed out of that committee, and passed out of City Council. The ordinance’s standards would be effective 12 months after passage and apply to building permit applications filed on and after that date.

Show your support for the ordinance by contacting your alderperson, and submitting petitions from the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and Sierra Club Illinois.

[Exceptions]

[1] Appliances that use a fuel source that when combusted emit less than 25 kilograms of CO2 per million BTU would be permitted, as would the combustion of wood in a fireplace or for cooking purposes.
[2] Combustion fuel used for “emergency and standby electricity” is excepted.

How ComEd customers can get a free portable induction cooktop

Good news: the rebate offer was extended for purchases made in 2024.

My check for $63.99 from ComEd arrived, so I can confidently say ComEd’s energy efficiency program works as advertised.

Induction cooktops are the ideal replacement for all other energy sources, whether a current stove uses gas or electricity to cook food.

  • They release no emissions or toxic chemicals like a gas-burning stove does.
  • They use less electricity and reach temperatures faster than a resistance electricity stove.

They’re ideal for households with children, who have developing brains and bodies that can be negatively affected by NOx and CO. (Read my previous blog post about this.)

How to get a free portable induction cooktop

  1. Buy an induction cooktop. (Keep in mind that the maximum rebate is $100, but appliances that cost more than $100 are eligible.) Wirecutter has recommendations. Amazon, Target, and Walmart, all sell decent-to-good models. In stores, IKEA sells a house brand and 88 Marketplace in Pilsen sells at least one model.
  2. Submit the form, including your receipt, on ComEd’s dedicate website.
  3. Wait for the rebate check to arrive.
The Mueller brand portable induction cooktop I brought from Target, and the rebate check I received from ComEd for $63.99.