New York City Council passes law to ban the use of natural gas in new buildings

The law is expected to further drive up the price of powering houses in the city
Times Square during the pandemic

The New York City Council voted earlier this week to ban new buildings from using natural gas, as the country experiences a notable spike in energy prices.

The law will create the new restrictions that go into effect in 2023 and will primarily force newly constructed buildings to use electricity instead of gas.

Americans are currently facing a nationwide rise in the cost of energy. Two months ago, the Biden administration's Energy Department said it expects heating costs to increase by as much as 54% over the the winter months. 

Despite rising costs, the new law is expected to raise the price of powering a home for New Yorkers. The average cost to heat a home with natural gas during winter 2020 was $573, while the average cost to heat an electrically powered home was $1,268, 

The Democrat-controlled council, which approved the measure by 40-7 votes, says the law will reduce carbon emissions in the city.

"This bill was about prioritizing people over profits and properties," said Council-member Alicka Ampry-Samuel.