Building electrification: Why it matters

July 5, 2023

Source: US Green Building Council


The term “electrification” is everywhere these days when it comes to buildings—and it’s easy to see why, as electrification is one of the most important factors in decarbonizing our buildings. Decarbonization is important because building operations are responsible for 31% of energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S., and nearly half of all homes rely on natural gas as their primary heating fuel.

Our long-term reliance on fossil fuels makes buildings one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), causing harmful climate change by trapping heat, and these emissions also contribute to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution. Extreme weather events, increased drought, a rising ocean, food supply disruption and increased wildfires are just some of the effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gases like CO2.

In the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s top climate scientists warn that we are running out of time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and that to limit global warming to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5°C, we need to make “immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors.” How do we accomplish this?

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