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
- To educate the public about building electrification, including the importance of switching from gas to electric stoves.
- 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.
- 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.
To join our electrification efforts, please email email@example.com and mention that you are interested in joining our Environmental Health Committee and have a specific interest in electrification.