The European Commission now has an opportunity to phase out gas cooking in the EU households as it reviews the ecodesign rules for domestic cooking appliances. Doing so would slash CO2 emissions, and dramatically improve indoor air quality.
It’s simple: gas cooking pollutes the air we breathe at home. Pollution from gas hobs and stoves contributes to making indoor air two to five times dirtier than outdoor air, according to a recent study by the Rocky Mountain Institute of the United States.
The European Union now has an opportunity to put an end to this. The Commission is currently reviewing the ecodesign and energy labelling regulations for domestic cooking appliances. Through ecodesign, the EU could legally phase out gas stoves – a unique opportunity to clean our indoor air and reduce energy bills.
In the upcoming days, the Commission will present a review study that could set the scene for the final outcome. Developed by the EU’s JRC in-house research centre, the study will include a comprehensive techno-economic and environmental assessment for this product group. The idea is to help policy-makers assess whether and how to revise the existing regulations.
Commission officials are expected to present a regulation proposal for home cooking appliances during 2023.
A silent polluter at home
Gas cooking is a threat to public health. Simply breathing at home after you have cooked lunch can be harmful to your health if you own a gas hob which is the case for many people – ,more than 30% of home cooking is done with gas in the EU. A new study by the independent research organisation TNO estimates that over 600,000 children in the EU-27 suffer from asthma due to gas cooking, which costs society an estimated 4 billion euros annually.
What is more, gas cooking is significantly more inefficient than electric options. The energy efficiency rate of gas appliances is at 40%, compared to 74% of an electric alternative. This means that only 40% of the energy is transferred to the food when using gas stoves. Every time we cook a meal with gas, we unnecessarily waste energy and burn fossil fuels.
We must decarbonise gas cooking, and the window of opportunity is now. A large coalition of NGOs and other organisations are calling on the EU to use the revision of ecodesign rules to phase out domestic gas stoves. The Commission should seize this opportunity to reduce air pollution, protect the health of EU citizens, and save energy.