Illinois Building Electrification: Heat Pumps Can Support Illinois Climate Goals
Like much of the United States, Illinois is experiencing a rapidly evolving electricity landscape. Thanks to a combination of state policies and declining renewable energy costs, the electric grid is cleaner than ever, opening the door for policymakers to use this growing supply of clean energy to decarbonize stubborn sectors like buildings. A new analysis by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Elevate Energy finds that electrifying single-family homes in Illinois, and thus eliminating appliances powered by gas or propane, reduces carbon emissions today.
The emissions benefits of electrifying homes have improved over time. This analysis updates the findings of the 2018 RMI report The Economics of Electrifying Buildings with both changes in the Illinois energy landscape and an improved methodology.
Since the study period for the report, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) came into effect in Illinois, requiring Illinois’ investor-owned electric utilities to achieve 25% renewable energy by 2030. Utility renewable generation has increased by more than 13%, at least four coal plants have closed, and electrification policies have become part of mainstream policy and program conversation. And although COVID-19 has created new uncertainty about the electricity market, initial expectations are that it will increase the speed of coal plant retirement.
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