Combating climate change requires efforts on many fronts, one of which involves a significant improvement in building energy efficiency. Included in the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan is a goal to decarbonize 2 million buildings over the next four years. To meet this challenge as well as the commercial real estate industry’s increasing commitment to environmental, social and governance initiatives, it will be necessary to replace the fossil fuels currently used to provide space and water heating in buildings with renewable sources of electricity generation.
This can only happen if we plan for, build and support an all-electric building infrastructure – referred to as beneficial electrification (or strategic electrification). The approach requires the replacement of systems that use fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, propane, heating oil) with systems using electricity only. Beneficial electrification provides a path to buildings and systems that draw energy from renewable energy production sources, thereby eliminating or minimizing fossil fuel use, which in turn significantly lowers overall carbon emissions.
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