Rabb, Friel Otten announce legislation instituting zero-emission standards for space and water heaters

HARRISBURG, May 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, have introduced legislation that would adopt zero-emission standards for space and water heaters in Pennsylvania.

“For Pennsylvania to be the climate leader we want it to be, and to meet our long-term climate goals, we need to take decarbonization seriously,” Rabb, a founding member of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “By reducing the amount of energy needed in buildings through energy efficiency upgrades, reducing carbon content of energy resources and appliances, and shifting energy usage with available technology, we can be one step closer to reaching our climate goals as well as saving money, improving both indoor and outdoor air quality, and reducing health risks associated with pollutants found in buildings.”

This legislation would require that beginning Jan. 1, 2030, all new space and water heaters for new construction and replacement of worn-out equipment in existing buildings sold in the commonwealth meet the zero-emission standards.

“Heating systems and water heaters have a long lifespan, so it’s important to plan now for the technology we’ll be living with seven, 10, or 25 years from now,” Friel Otten, chair of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “Energy-efficient, zero-emission systems may have a higher upfront price tag, but failing to adopt new standards would cost homeowners, businesses, and communities much more in the long run, both in energy consumption and the cost of replacing outdated equipment to keep up with inevitable improvements in technology. We need to do all we can to move Pennsylvania forward toward decarbonization, energy efficiency, and achieving our climate goals.”