New technologies, from air source heat pumps to smart thermostats, are changing the way we produce and use energy — making it cheaper and more efficient to electrify heat and hot water in buildings. But in many cases, existing energy policies and regulatory structures create unnecessary barriers to electrification. A new guidebook from RAP and Synapse Energy Economics details how the regulatory framework can be updated to realize the full potential of electrified, flexible, grid-integrated buildings.

In an interactive webinar, the guidebook’s co-authors discussed some of the regulatory “renovation projects” that are key to the transition to electrification:

  • Ensuring that building electrification is equitable and that low-income customers are fairly and affordably served;
  • Enabling grid integration of buildings so their electricity demand can be actively managed, taking advantage of renewable energy at times when it is most abundant;
  • Revamping energy efficiency resource standards and energy efficiency program design to make them fuel-neutral;
  • Modernizing building codes and performance standards; and
  • Revisiting current approaches to gas line extension.

The webinar highlighted options to address all these areas, unlocking the benefits of building electrification to customers, the power system and the environment.