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Is gas heading for extinction?

9 March 2011 / Ecosmart Fire

Image:Is gas heading for extinction?

In America, lobbying has started to try and save the future of the gas fireplace. From Net Zero policies through to No Burn rules, the gas industry is facing some serious threats - the Hearth and Patio Association gets set for a battle.

According to a recent document released by the Hearth, Patio and BBQ Association of America (HPBA) the gas industry has some serious obstacles to overcome to sustain its current acceptance in the market. Some of their current battles include:

Net Zero: A law that requires that any new home built from 2020 onwards must consume no more energy (gas & electric) than it can produce with solar panels on the roof. Gas Fireplaces don't qualify as part of the heating system and may only be allowed if enough extra solar panels are installed on the home to off-set the annual consumption of the fireplace. This would make it extremely expensive to install any gas fireplace in new constructions.

No Burn Rules: Burning wood is being restricted. No burn nights are increasing which means the suitability of this source of heating is diminishing - if it's cold, you want to burn your fireplace - if it falls on a No Burn night it could be mightly chilly!

NSPS: The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is tightening up emission limits on all solid fuel applicances.

DOE: The Department of Energy (DOE) plans new rules for decorative gas appliances including limiting non-heater rated gas fireplaces to 9,000 btu's or less which would mean a lot of lost business for gas manufacturers.

Establishing bioethanol as an alternative fuel source has had its fair share of scepticism - it appears however that it might be on the rise as tighter restrictions are introduced to achieve greener sources of heating.

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