Building electrification policies require that certain new building equipment—such as water heaters, furnaces, other heating equipment, stoves, and dryers—use electricity as a fuel rather than other fuels like natural gas or fuel oil. These kinds of building electrification policies are usually best achieved via building codes for new buildings as it is easier to mandate component electrification when a building is first being constructed.
Whether or not building electrification policies reduce GHG emissions depends heavily on the composition of the electricity grid. In areas where the electric grid is made up primarily of fossil fuel sources, increased building electrification can actually increase GHG emissions relative to the status quo. Therefore, careful analysis is needed—and complementary policies likely required—before implementing building component electrification policies. However, building electrification will be important for meeting long-term goals for emissions reductions.