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Residential Electrification Isn't Always Easy, but Implementation Barriers Can Be Overcome

  • 1.  Residential Electrification Isn't Always Easy, but Implementation Barriers Can Be Overcome

    BPA Staff Member
    Posted 22 days ago
    by Charlotte Cohn

    Switching homes from fossil fuel-burning equipment to efficient electric alternatives will be a critical step toward mitigating the climate crisis. Electric heat pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances have additional benefits as well, including reducing energy costs, providing air-conditioning to homes that don't already have it, and improving indoor air quality. However, there are significant barriers to making the switch in existing buildings. A new report from ACEEE identifies these challenges and explains how policymakers and electrification program managers can create an environment where electrification retrofits are straightforward and affordable.

    Efficient electric appliances are growing in popularity across the country. Last month, California regulators voted unanimously to prohibit the sale of natural gas heating equipment beginning in 2030, a trend that may extend to other jurisdictions. Residential energy use accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, making building electrification a key priority for fighting climate change. If U.S. residential buildings were a country, it would be the sixth-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The time for comprehensive solutions is now.

    From a technical perspective, there is no building that cannot go all-electric. But electrification upgrades are often complex and expensive projects, sometimes requiring electrical panel and wiring upgrades. Some utilities, cities, and states have already started incentive programs to reduce the up-front costs of residential electrification. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act includes historic rebates and tax credits that make transitioning to efficient electric homes more affordable than ever before.

    What Does an All-Electric Home Look Like?

    Continue reading in the BPA Journal

    Diane Chojnowski
    BPA Connections Community Manager
    Building Performance Association