Electrification Project

BUILDING ELECTRIFICATION

After industry and transportation, buildings are a top emitter of green-house gases. Electrification of buildings is a critical step toward decarbonization, improved health, and health equity. Natural gas appliances and heaters are proven to increase indoor air pollution and exacerbate conditions such as asthma. The health harms from indoor pollution are compounded by the high outdoor air pollution levels in California, per the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2020 report. Also, while 98% of Californians live in counties with a failing grade for at least one air pollution measurement, a person of color is three times more likely to live in a county with failing grades in all measurements.

California is at a critical turning point with several ground-breaking transportation and building decarbonization bills moving through the legislature that we are amplifying and supporting with our health professional voice. In addition, we need to continue our coalition efforts toward pushing the California Energy Commission (CEC) to demonstrate climate health leadership by developing a 2022 building energy code cycle to require all-electric new construction statewide.

This project is funded by support from National PSR and the Energy Foundation. We would also like to thank SF Bay PSR Electrification Project intern Alma Hernandez for her outstanding work.

2021 PROJECT GOALS

  1. To educate the public about building electrification, including the importance of switching from gas to electric stoves.
  2. To increase awareness of the positive health impacts of building electrification and the negative health consequences of over reliance on fossil fuels and ongoing global warming, particularly in vulnerable communities.
  3. To highlight the real and potential racial and economic inequities raised by building electrification campaigns and suggest strategic courses of action.

READINGS & RESOURCES

WATCH our event, Electrification of Buildings: Climate, Health, Justice, broadcast on April 28, 2021, featuring Diane Bailey of Menlo Spark, Brady Seals of RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings program, and Antonio Díaz of PODER—People Organizing to Demand Economic and Environmental Right.
CLICK HERE

Gas Stoves: Health and Air Quality Impacts and Solutions, a report from Mothers Out Front, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club and Rocky Mountain Institute

Menlo Spark: Ten Truths about Natural Gas
UCLA School of Public Health Study: Effects of residential Gas Appliances on Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Public Health in California
Scientific American: California is Closing the Door to Gas in New Homes
PODER: Climate Equity & Community Engagement in Building Electrification Toolkit

Rocky Mountain Institute: Why Is Indoor Air Pollution Largely Unregulated?
Rocky Mountain Institute: Three Key Takeaways from California’s First Workshop on Health Impacts of Gas Stoves
Rocky Mountain Institute: California Can’t Wait on All-Electric New Building Code

The Costs and Savings of going All-Electric Infographic
Find more resources about decarbonizing your home and buildings at fossilfreebuildings.org

This study out of Emory University links long-term exposure to air pollution, especially NO2, to death from COVID-19

Effects of Residential Gas Appliances on Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Public Health in California from UCLA and this interactive story map

Blackouts and California’s Clean Energy Transition, a post from Rocky Mountain Institute

Community engagement principles:

Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing
The Spectrum of Community Engagement

To join our electrification efforts, please email tara@sfbaypsr.org and mention that you are interested in joining our Environmental Health Committee and have a specific interest in electrification.