Electrification of energy uses currently powered by fossil fuels represents one of the greatest opportunities in the energy sector today to benefit consumers, the environment, and the grid. RAP’s series on what we call beneficial electrification—that is, electrification in the public interest—prepares decision-makers to maximize this potential.
For electrification to be considered beneficial, it must meet one or more of the following conditions without adversely affecting the other two:
1. Saves consumers money over the long run;
2. Enables better grid management; and
3. Reduces negative environmental impacts.
The series’ first installment, Beneficial Electrification: Ensuring Electrification in the Public Interest, is available now. It explores policy and regulatory decisions necessary to accommodate innovations that make it possible to shift many energy uses to electricity from heating oil, propane, and natural gas.
The authors offer six principles that will help policymakers and regulators formulate and evaluate their electrification strategies to broadly secure the benefits. Finally, the paper looks at operational elements that states may want to consider as they move ahead with electrification.
Three other papers in this series—due later in 2018—feature pathways and no-regrets options for regulators to apply these principles specifically to electric vehicles, space heating, and water heating. Each paper lays out initial steps for regulators to establish programs, including standards and metrics to measure success. More specifically, these papers explore issues such as rate design to enable beneficial electrification; program design and implementation; relationships between beneficial electrification and energy efficiency and demand response programs; screening tests for beneficial electrification; and impacts on wholesale markets and vice versa.