Can Beneficial Electrification Be a Form of Energy Efficiency?

Electrification is gaining a lot of attention as efforts mount to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and address climate change. ACEEE sees an important role for energy efficiency in these efforts. In fact, we see beneficial electrification – that which reduces total energy, costs, and emissions – as a form of energy efficiency. It can complement traditional efficiency approaches, and together, they can help meet energy, GHG, and economic goals.

With this in mind, I’ve looked at three recent studies on electrification’s potential impacts on the electric grid and the demand for natural gas. Taken together, these studies indicate that beneficial electrification will likely increase electricity sales (perhaps substantially), affect peak demand (winter peaks in some regions), decrease use of fossil fuels by end-users, and possibly increase use of natural gas for electric generation. However, none of these studies seems to include substantial efforts to use energy efficiency to reduce energy demand. Such efforts could reduce the costs and grid impacts of electrification.

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(American Council For an Energy Efficient Economy)