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The Electrification Decade - Are We Ready?

Last updated: 04-10-2021

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The Electrification Decade - Are We Ready?

In 2016, David Roberts of Vox coined the phrase, “Electrify everything” to advocate for the transition away from on-site fossil fuel consumption to powering buildings through electricity.  Since then, electric technologies have continued to improve, renewable energy prices have further plummeted, and it would seem that building science experts and policy makers are more ready to support an electrification leap as a part of wider decarbonization efforts.  I have been getting really "energized" about promoting this concept and helping to enable this shift in any way we can at Rate It Green.  As I’ve learned more, it seems an answer or challenge to “Electrify everything" is really, Ok, well let's “Educate everyone.” It's time to have some great conversations on this key topic, and how buildings will never quite look or operate the same.      We all have a job to do for the green building industry and more widely as well, as everyone is a building stakeholder in some sense and can therefore play a role in growing demand.  We can ask and expect sustainable builders to educate clients and promote more efficient and healthy technology choices, but… we can’t ask them to do this alone, in a vacuum.  We must also expect our leaders to support this much-needed shift by educating consumers and training building professionals, and by offering the right mix of incentives, and yes rules too.  We need everyone to get involved, and to become both a student and an educator.   In addition to current and pending content on this critical topic, we’ve just published an electrification overview, "Building Electrification: Why It Matters to Your Wallet, Health, Comfort, and the Environment."  But it would even be more awesome to make this topic come alive with your stories and examples of what works, and why.  Let’s make this a series - and let’s have some guest posts! We can delve into specific technologies or share examples - whatever will help inform and inspire someone out there who doesn’t yet know what you can share.   Do you have a client who just loves their induction stove?  Let’s tell this story and make everyone want one! Can this client or someone else document or explain their indoor air quality improvement for the rest of us? Can you explain why electric water heaters really are better, and which you like best? Did you install mini splits for a client whose electric bill has now plummeted? Did a client kick their gas meter?  Can they or you share this experience? I hear and I sympathize with building professionals who meet clients who just don’t understand and might not yet buy into some of the long term financial, health, and environmental gains of working with high quality, sustainable products and methodologies.  I believe we move that dial by explaining these benefits to them, and we can and should of course do that as a community.   We can’t ask or expect clients to be responsible for information they haven’t been exposed to yet. How many people still haven’t heard of a min split?  So, how are they going to want to install one? How many people who were sold on gas stoves for decades are going to switch to induction technology when they haven’t really heard of it and think of electric stove tops as the old red hot coils you wished you could ditch once you saw the fancy natural gas tv ad?  If you haven’t been exposed to these technologies yet, don’t you want to hear what you might want or need to know from a fellow green builder or enthusiast? 2021 is a key year for electrification and also a time during which we will continue to promote the idea of leadership examples and more storytelling. Through videos, articles, discussions, groups, news and events, we need to basically make everyone who hasn’t thought of building more sustainably and cooler a little bit jealous, to be honest.  We can all work together to make this tent as big as possible.    Matt and I are excited about the many new conversations we’re having with you out there.  Let’s share more of what you have to say!  And let’s point your future clients to your words so they can listen and read, and be ready to make informed and fantastic long-term decisions.   Thank you for your collaboration! Allison   Rate It Green @rateitgreen @Rateitgreen Rate It Green Rate It Green Thank you, Allison Friedman Founder, Rate It Green Twitter: @rateitgreen Facebook: @Rateitgreen LinkedIn: Rate It Green YouTube: Rate It Green

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