New report: By electrifying all its buildings, Michigan could reap some of the highest health and climate benefits in the country
LANSING -- Michigan ranks 7th in the nation for potential reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and potential reduction of gas usage, according to a new report released today by Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center, PIRGIM Education Fund and Frontier Group. The study, Electric Buildings: Repowering Homes and Businesses for Our Health and Environment, found that completely repowering Michigan’s homes and businesses with electricity by 2050 would result in emissions reductions of 12.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- equal to taking over 2.6 million cars off the road for a year -- and a reduction in gas usage of 376.6 billion cubic feet. Going all-electric in our state’s buildings would help cut emissions, improve public health and protect the planet, the report concluded.
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’s time to get rid of dirty, dangerous technologies and swap them out for efficient, electric ones to ensure that Michiganders live cleaner, greener and all around healthier lives,” said Bronte Payne, Campaign Director with Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center. “The possibilities we see in Michigan should give us the hope and motivation we need to kickstart the movement towards 100 percent electric buildings.”
This report comes as Ann Arbor works to implement their A2Zero plan which includes a vision of having 100 percent of city facilities, 30 percent of single family homes and 25 percent of all rental properties fully electrified by 2030.
In addition to highlighting states that have the most to gain from banning fossil fuels in homes and businesses, the study also analyzes the potential national benefits from this change. Electrifying a majority of our American homes and businesses by 2050 could reduce overall net emissions from America’s 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 in moving 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,” Payne 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 America makes the switch, the sooner we’ll realize the benefits of cleaner, healthier and more efficient energy.”