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Electrification 101

Electrification 101

Electrification is the process of replacing technology or processes that rely on fossil fuels with electrically powered equivalents. The purpose of electrification is to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Electrification is a major component of the clean energy transition and is one way energy consumers can take meaningful steps to address climate change in their own communities.

Decarbonization and the Case to Electrify

Decarbonization is the practice of reducing, removing, or eliminating carbon emissions produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. Electrification is an important step to offset these emissions and protect the health of our planet. The phrase “beneficial electrification” is often used when discussing efforts to electrify as a way to recognize the positive environmental impacts associated with switching from fossil fuel to electricity powered by renewable energy.

Electrification and Efficiency

Home electrification is the process of switching from appliances traditionally powered using fossil fuels towards appliances powered by electricity. Currently, the electricity we use is generated from a variety of resources, including both renewable energy and fossil fuel. However, as more and more renewable energy is generated and readily available when needed, electrifying our lifestyles provides a path towards drastically reduced carbon emissions.

A fundamental goal of energy policy has always been to reduce the amount of electricity used as much as possible. However, as the power sector rapidly changes and more clean energy generation comes online, new goals are emerging. We still want to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of our energy use, but new and improved technologies such as air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and induction ranges, are expediting the ability to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions at the same time. 

What are some of the main technologies powering electrification efforts in 2024?

Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) Technology

Heat pump technology transfers heat from one place to another so you can quickly and efficiently heat or cool your home.

Learn more about Air Source Heat Pumps here.

ASHP & Electric Water Heaters

A heat pump water heater moves heat from the surrounding indoor air to heat the water for your home through the power of electricity. 

Learn more about Water Heaters here.

ASHP & Electric Clothes Dryers

A heat pump clothes dryer is powered entirely by electricity, using metal heating coils to remove the moisture from your clothes. 

Learn more about Electric Clothes Dryers here.

Induction & Electric Ranges

Induction stovetops use an electromagnetic field to transfer heat energy directly to cookware, which needs to be induction-compatible (magnetic). Conventional electric cooktops heat the glass cooking surface above, which in turn, heats the cookware. Both cooktops only use electricity. 

Learn more about Electric Cooking Options here.

Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles are a widely available option to decarbonize the way we travel and commute. EVs can be an expensive upfront investment, but they can also be a gateway into the world of electrification.

Learn more about Electric Vehicles here.

What’s next

A combination of government investments, new technologies, and market forces are enabling beneficial electrification. Renewable energy is becoming cheaper every year, as are electric vehicles and other “smart” technologies. As renewables become cheaper, utilities should continue to invest in more and more of these technologies. Consumers will continue to replace older appliances with newer, more flexible, and more efficient models. All these factors are pushing us down a path towards beneficial electrification.

Beneficial electrification can provide many advantages to consumers, utilities, and the grid, and provide a path towards a decarbonized future.

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