The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap
Paper / February 2, 2021 / Building Innovation
The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap (BETR) is a guide for utilities and other organizations developing, implementing, and supporting electrification technology programs as a way to advance high efficiency technologies, reduce GHG emissions, and improve public health. It’s the first study to characterize the industry status of a comprehensive set of electrification technologies that replace traditional combustion technologies, site barriers to adoption, and the road to accelerate adoption. Although developed and written to guide efficiency programs, the recommended actions can also inform manufacturers, the design community, owners, and policymakers.
The full BETR roadmap has layers of detailed information by technology in narrative, tables and images, and the key roadblocks and recommendations charts for each end use. The report characterizes the technology readiness, product availability, ease of application, market awareness, and greenhouse gas emission reduction potentials of these ready and available technologies as well as selected emerging and international technologies. These include applications for single family, multifamily, small commercial, large commercial, and higher education/institutional building types.
The BETR Study consists of a Full Report (100+ pages) and a Summary (32 pages). Both of these resources are available below.
In order to enable knowledge sharing on this first-of-its-kind study, we have developed a number of resources to help users access information, gain deeper understanding of the material and more easily share with others. These resources are described and linked below:
The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap Summary (32 pages) is an overview of the content in the full BETR Report. It provides an at-a-glance look at the technologies and status for each end use and the high-level description of their readiness. It also presents the Roadmap of Recommendations for each end-use and the related technologies. However, only the full BETR Report has the specific status, barriers, recommendations and the analysis of residential energy and emissions.
The Ready and Available Electrification Technology Options illustration (click on thumbnail at right to enlarge) shows selected ready-to-go electrification technologies. A wide variety of products are available today to decarbonize space heating, water heating, cooking, and laundry systems. These include applications for single family, multifamily, small commercial, large commercial, and higher education/institutional building types.
On Feb. 25, we recorded a no-cost, one-hour webinar called “It’s Getting BETR: The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap is Here.” The session features report authors NBI Research Director Cathy Higgins and NBI Associate Technical Director Alexi Miller talking about the study findings and recommendations for advancing prime electrification technologies.
More on the BETR Research
BETR was prepared by New Buildings Institute in partnership with the Building Decarbonization Coalition for California-based funding organizations in 2020. The year was on course to break the record for the hottest annual global and U.S. temperatures – joining eight of the other top 10 years just since 2010. In order to meet its landmark 2045 carbon neutrality goal, the State of California has set ambitious targets necessary to reduce and avoid existing emissions across all sectors. The sponsoring utilities are actively engaged in energy efficiency programs that can benefit their customers and support the carbon reduction goals. BETR can also be customized to other regions.
- Audience: Program administrators, policymakers, and industry advocates for all-electric technologies.
- Goal: Accelerate the adoption of highly efficient electric technologies that displace gas technologies.
- Objectives: This study characterizes developed and emerging electric technologies that can replace incumbent gas technologies in both new and existing buildings and across residential and commercial sectors.
- Four major end-uses: Includes space heating, water heating, cooking, and clothes drying + laundry. All have low current market adoption and need a range of approaches to rapidly increase market penetration.
In addition to the findings by end use in BETR, NBI identified and described five collective strategies to advance all electrification technologies: build demand, support supply chain, partner with production, close the cost gap, and align programs and policies.
The funders of this study (listed below) are committed to helping the State of California meet its 2045 carbon neutrality goal. If one thing is clear from this Roadmap, it’s that we must act with greater urgency to accelerate building electrification technologies. By working together to take the recommendations into concrete actions, we can make great progress toward reducing the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of all buildings across the state of California over the next 10 years.
This research built on a number of critical studies about building decarbonization including:
- Pathway 2045, Southern California Edison
- The Economics of Electrifying Buildings, Rocky Mountain Institute
- Residential Building Electrification in California, E3
For more information about BETR, contact Alexi Miller, Associate Technical Director.