Have you ever thought about what more electricity can do for you? For the planet? As it turns out, it’s a lot more than you might expect. When it’s beneficial electrification — yes, we know, this is the kind of terminology that might make your eyes glaze over — it has the potential to move us firmly toward a cleaner, more efficient, and safer energy future.
Beneficial electrification is the process of switching from dirty fossil fuels to clean electricity in ways that benefit consumers, the environment, and the utility grid.
The electrification part is easy to understand — using electric power sources for appliances, buildings, and vehicles instead of natural gas, propane, or other fossil fuels — but it’s only considered beneficial if it meets one or more of three criteria:
- For consumers, saves money over time
- For the environment, reduces air pollution and/or advances climate goals
- For the utility, enables better and more efficient grid management
How does beneficial electrification apply to you? CORE is committed to helping individuals and communities reach their climate action goals, and beneficial electrification is key to getting there. In the Roaring Fork Valley, electric utilities are well on their way to powering their customers with 100% renewable energy: The City of Aspen system reached that milestone in 2015, and regional provider Holy Cross Energy now has its sights set on 2030 for that goal. Meanwhile, the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the area are buildings (58%) and transportation (29%) — which also represent the biggest opportunities for beneficial electrification.
So, what can you do to get some beneficial electrification in your life and support your community’s climate action goals? Here’s a potential three-step journey.
- Start with a baby step: If you have a gas range, switch to an electric kettle to boil water for tea or cooking. Look around your home for other quick and easy switches that don’t need much investment or research. Then,
- Step up your game with a heat pump system for heating and cooling and for hot water. Up-front costs might be higher than a traditional gas boiler, but CORE can help with rebates and heat pumps use roughly half the energy, so over time those lower bills will save you money. Now consider …
- Going whole hog and committing to CORE’s Path to Zero, a guided journey to zero emissions in your built environment. Again, CORE is your one-stop resource, from getting started to recommending contractors to doling out your Net Zero Homes Grant.
Plenty more can be done, and you can count on CORE to be there with guidance and rebates on clean appliances, renewable energy systems, EV chargers, battery storage, and more. It takes a village to get to net zero, and every effort — big or small — toward more beneficial electrification will move us one step closer to our climate goals, together.