Will Natural Gas Phase Out Actually Save Taxpayers Millions?

President Joe Biden’s plan to phase out the use of natural gas in federal buildings is portrayed as a “cost-effective” way to save taxpayers millions each year. But will it really?

According to a Washington Free Beacon review of federal data, the phase-out would not benefit American taxpayers. Based on the data, the Biden administration’s statement applauding the plan’s affordability ignores the administration’s own findings about green energy’s increased cost.

The Energy Department estimates the plan will save taxpayers $8 million annually in upfront equipment costs, based on the department’s budgetary impact estimate from Dec. 6. According to the estimate, so-called clean electricity costs four-and-a-half times more than natural gas, so the savings on equipment outweigh the cost increase.

According to the Energy Department estimate, Biden’s transition away from natural gas will actually cost taxpayers $5 million every year.

Green Energy groups are quick to applaud the move, despite the increased costs associated with Biden’s plan. For example, the climate change activist group Sierra Club said it was “excited that the Biden administration is making good on its promise” to implement green energy, and the protest organization committed to “continue to work with the Biden administration.”

With Biden’s proposal to decarbonize the economy by 2050 and a carbon-free electrical grid by 2035, he could alienate everyday Americans concerned about energy costs.

California’s electricity prices soared earlier this year as it worked to “swap gasoline-fueled cars and natural gas heaters for electric models,” according to a report from E&E News. “It’s a huge problem,” the University of California, Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein said. State lawmakers may “mandate electrification,” Borenstein said, “then there’s just going to be huge political blowback” given the “immensely expensive” prices.

The Energy Department confirmed that the department’s claim of saving taxpayers “$8 million per year” is only based on the cost difference between gas and electric equipment and does not account for increased energy costs. No explanation was provided for why the department excluded those increased energy costs from its announcement.

On Jan. 5, the Biden administration will host a webinar on its proposed phaseout of natural gas in federal buildings and take public comments through early February. According to the American Gas Association, Biden’s plan would affect every taxpayer. They’ve already said they’ll participate in the public comment process.