Monday, November 13, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Measuring the Distributional Implications of Residential Electrification Using Fine-Scale Data
Session ID
A3 - Lightning: Accelerating the Home Electrification Journey
Cristina Crespo Montañés

The electrification of residential energy demand is a crucial step towards economy-wide decarbonization, but not everyone can participate or will be impacted in the same way in electricity-intensive transitions in homes. The ability of households to benefit from electrification will depend on socio-economic conditions, whether people own or rent, cultural preferences and the energy efficiency of the building they inhabit. Using Northern California as a case study, we develop a method to model household-level changes in energy demand for different electrification scenarios and synthesize the effects of such changes on household energy bills and the initial investments required. Our project relies on smart-meter data for over 40,000 electricity and gas customers in the Pacific Gas and Electric service territory— together with local ambient temperature records, utility rates, and census data—, to: 1) disaggregate gas and electric heating and cooling loads using temperature response curves, 2) generate electrification scenarios based on electrifying certain end uses or customers first, 3) calculate post-electrification load profiles through the conversion of natural gas demand to electricity demand for each scenario, and 4) evaluate the costs and benefits of electrification in terms of upfront costs required for fuel-switching, and changes in household energy bills and energy burdens under different electricity rate structures. Results reveal how residential electrification’s impacts vary across socio-demographics and help identify areas with higher private costs of transitioning to electricity to prioritize spatial resource allocation, contributing to discussions on the design of equitable electrification incentives and programs. The methods developed here can be applied to other areas across the United States with access to smart meter data.

Supporting Document 1