Technology is irrevocably changing our lives. We have numerous little devices to make the accomplishment of our everyday tasks faster and easier. The idea of smart homes isn’t as fantastic as it seemed a decade earlier. However, some of the techs which guarantee us our comfort is very harmful to the environment. The scientists are looking for ways to change that.
For example, California’s buildings are a leading source of climate-changing emissions and air pollution. They must be electrified for this state to meet its public health and climate goals.
New Buildings Institute (NBI) and its partner Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) released a new study today, lying the groundwork for how such electrification can occur.
The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap (BETR) is a first study that focuses on accelerating electric technologies’ adoption, as they efficiently displace fossil fuel technologies.
The study discusses electrification technology options across various commercial and residential building types. The authors compare more than three dozen technologies across product availability, technology readiness, ease of application and market awareness, along with their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, BETR underlines major roadblocks facing these technologies, while simultaneously providing recommendations on accelerating market adoption.
Panama Bartholomy, Director, BDC stated that California’s buildings produce more smog-causing pollutants than vehicles. However, electrification is the pathway for cleaning up their buildings sector.
What are the BETR’s key Findings?
According to study, if we replace fossil fuel-based space heating, cooking, water heating, and laundry systems with efficient all-electric technologies, we’ll cut energy use by over 40%, simultaneously cutting carbon emissions by more than 75% for those four end-uses across multiple California climate zones.
Heat pumps typically stand out when it comes to electrifying space heating and cooling thanks to their mature technology, high efficiency and high market awareness. As a result, heat pumps are available for new construction in every sector.
Furthermore, heat pump water heaters have the highest potential for rapid greenhouse gas reductions. According to the California Energy Commission, in California single-family homes fossil-fuel combustion water heaters account for a 40% of natural gas use. As they are already readily available, the state’s residential gas water heaters could be electrified by 2045.
There is also the case of induction cooking technology, which would reduce emissions, as well as improving indoor air quality.
Electric induction range tops are a desirable technology if we want to displace gas cooking. They have superior user experience, controllability, and health and safety benefits. Gas cooking accounts for only 7% of total residential gas use statewide. Still, benefits related to improving indoor air quality makes them really attractive.