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by Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
Energy Policy Now

Can Americans Afford to Fully Electrify Their Homes?


A leading energy economist explores the cost of electrifying home heating, the top source of energy demand and carbon emissions in American homes.

Residential homes account for one fifth of America’s energy consumption, with the largest part of that consumption going toward home heating. In the U.S., more homes are heated with natural gas than any other fuel, a fact that has drawn the attention of policymakers as momentum builds to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Recently, a number of cities have sought to curtail residential gas use by introducing policies to promote home electrification and, more controversially, through bans that prohibit gas hookups in new homes. While it’s still too early to tell how politically viable, and ultimately effective these efforts will be, what is clear is that the urgency to electrify everything will only intensify as more municipalities, states, and the federal government set ambitious decarbonization goals for the years to come.

Lucas Davis, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, offers a look at the drive to electrify home heating. His recent research examines what motivates households to choose to electrify, how much Americans may be willing to pay in the process, and how this understanding could be used to focus policies that drive rapid and equitable electrification of American homes.

Lucas Davis is an economist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a visiting scholar at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. His research focuses on energy and environmental markets.

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Episode 2

Season 6

by Kleinman Center for Energy Policy