Full Title: Electric Buildings: Repowering homes and businesses for our health and environment
Author(s): Bryn Huxley-Reicher, Brynn Furey, Johanna Neumann
Publisher(s): U.S. PIRG, Environment America, Frontier Group
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Full Text: Download Resource
To prevent air and water pollution and avoid the worst impacts of global warming, America must move toward meeting our energy needs with 100% renewable energy. Getting there will require that we get the most out of every bit of energy we use – and that we stop burning fossil fuels in our homes and commercial buildings.
Wind and solar power are rapidly replacing dirty fossil fuels like coal as leading sources of our electricity. As our electricity grid becomes cleaner, replacing the direct burning of gas, heating oil and propane in our buildings with electricity will reduce pollution of our air, land and water from fossil fuel production and use.
New and improved technologies are putting clean, efficient electric space heating and water heating, and electric appliances like stoves within the reach of most American households. Analysis shows that electrifying the vast majority of America’s residences and commercial spaces by 2050 could reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from the residential and commercial sectors by about 306 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2050. That is the equivalent of taking about 65 million of today’s cars off the road – almost three times the number of vehicles in Texas.
Common barriers, including knowledge gaps, high upfront costs and lack of governmental support, often make the decision to switch from fossil fuels to electricity challenging for many homeowners, tenants and businesses. Local, state and federal governments should adopt policies to help overcome those barriers and accelerate the transition of our homes and businesses away from fossil fuels and toward electric power.