Environmentally Beneficial Electrification

Environmentally Beneficial Electrification

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If you are like many Americans, when given the choice, you would prefer your energy to come from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power, rather than fossil fuels. As electric utilities shift to more options that include renewable energy sources and make existing generation technologies cleaner, electricity uses less fossil fuel per kilowatt-hour of energy produced. This idea of “environmentally beneficial electrification” means that innovations in energy technology are creating new ways to use electricity.

In addition to the utility industry, environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recognize the value of this concept.

“Beneficial electrification will continue to play a big role in accelerating this transition in an effective and economic way to benefit consumers, energy resilience, and the environment," said Sheryl Carter, NRDC Energy Program Co-Trustee.

Electric Appliances Can Become Greener Over Time
Beneficial electrification means electric appliances have the potential to become greener. When your co-op takes advantage of advances in technology and the market at the generation point, those efficiencies are passed to the member.

Because large appliances have a typical lifespan of 15 to 20 years, you are able to benefit from the flexibility of the grid in addition to the increased efficiency of the appliance, meaning the high-efficiency electric oven you have today could be powered by renewable sources three years from now. This would not be the case with gas appliances where you are locked into the appliance for its 15 to 20- year lifespan. As co-ops tap into more renewable options, the only way you would benefit is through electric appliances.

Small Steps to Reducing Carbon Footprint
For consumers and homeowners looking for more environmentally-friendly energy options, choosing electric appliances over those powered by fossil fuels is an easy solution. Whether through electric lawn mowers, blowers, and weed whackers (plug-in or rechargeable) or through electric water heaters and other appliances, beneficial electrification is a means to reducing greenhouse gases and helping the environment.

At the national level, electric co-ops are purchasing and generating more renewable resources, bringing wind, solar and geothermal energy into the electric power system, which means electricity is becoming greener. As the overall energy sector continues to evolve, FreeState Electric Cooperative is striving to take advantage of the advances in technology and the opportunities of the market as they become available. This means we can leverage the flexibility of the grid to offer a wider range of renewable power choices as we continue to deliver reliable and affordable power to our community.

“The successful transition to a clean energy future will require substantial reliance on efficient electric technologies like electric vehicles and advanced electric water heating, including heat pump or grid-interactive resistance water heaters, powered by an increasingly cleaner and more flexible electric system,” Carter said.

In the future, look to choose beneficial electrification in your daily activities.

To discuss available renewable energy options and to learn about ways to save energy, contact our Energy Use Coordinator, Matt Lambert.

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