New report shows how electrifying Nevada’s buildings could cut carbon emissions and transform our energy system
CARSON CITY -- Nevada could see a critical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and gas usage if it electrifies all of its buildings during the next 30 years, according to a new report released today by Environment Nevada Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. The study, Electric Buildings: Repowering Homes and Businesses for Our Health and Environment, found that completely repowering Nevada’s homes and businesses with electricity by 2050 is expected to result in net emissions reductions of 3.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- equal to taking over 670,000 cars off the road -- and reductions in pipeline gas usage equal to 60.5 billion cubic feet.
The report also outlines how overcoming key barriers standing in the way of widespread building electrification can improve public health and play a key role in fighting climate change.
“It has never been easier to make our homes and businesses fossil fuel free, and Nevada could see important environmental and health gains by going all-electric. Nevadans deserve to know that the systems that keep them warm, provide them with hot water and run their appliances aren’t producing dangerous emissions that threaten their safety both inside and outside of their homes,” said Brynn Furey, energy conservation and efficiency associate with Environment Nevada. “The possibilities we see here should give us the hope and motivation we need to kickstart the movement towards 100 percent electric buildings.”
This report follows the release of Nevada’s 2020 Climate Strategy which looks to eliminate fossil fuel use in homes and businesses by electrifying the residential and commercial sectors. The strategy even poses an all-electric new construction requirement as a possible avenue to ease and accelerate the transition to electric buildings.
In addition to state-specific data, the study identifies the national benefits from banning fossil fuels in homes and businesses. Electrifying a majority of America’s buildings by 2050 could reduce net emissions from the residential and commercial sectors by 306 million metric tons, which is equivalent to taking about 65 million cars off the road.
Electric Buildings also emphasizes the role such electric technologies as heat pumps, water heaters and other electric appliances like induction stoves can play as America moves away from fossil fuels. Advances in electrifying these technologies have made them more efficient and affordable. This means that using fully electric systems in homes and commercial buildings now makes sense for owners in almost all instances of new construction.
“Last century, many families saw their quality of life improve when they switched from a coal-burning stove to an electric or gas range, or an icebox to an electric refrigerator,” Furey said. “Today, a similar technological revolution is underway to replace fossil fuel heating and cooking with electric technologies. Current electric heat pumps offer better indoor climate control and lower operating costs than gas furnaces and the sooner Nevada makes the switch, the sooner we’ll realize the benefits of cleaner and more efficient energy.”
Environment Nevada works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment Nevada is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
Environment Nevada and U.S. PIRG are part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.