Equitable Home Electrification Toolkit

Equitable Home Electrification Toolkit


This toolkit is intended to help communities across the United States take meaningful steps toward equitably electrifying their existing housing stock through a planning process designed to maximize engagement and co-ownership between local governments and frontline community groups. The content was developed jointly by RMI and Emerald Cities Collaborative for the 2021–2022 Equitable Home Electrification Program, a community of practice between 10 teams representing local governments and community organizations:

This toolkit centers on developing a housing electrification roadmap, a guiding document that helps your community establish an equitable process for identifying and developing the policies and programs necessary to electrify your housing stock. Developing this roadmap is an iterative process: steps listed in order here should overlap and be frequently revisited. Your community may choose to adjust this process based on your goals, priorities, timelines, budget, existing relationships, previously developed content, or other relevant efforts.

Why a Community-Driven Roadmapping Process?

Frontline communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and are often further disenfranchised by climate policy. The wisdom and lived experience of frontline communities is essential to develop policies and programs that instead make the energy transition work for the most vulnerable communities. Climate initiatives, including building electrification, can address both the disproportionate impacts of climate change and other key issues in these communities such as health, safety, resilience, and housing affordability/displacement.

Promoting community co-ownership and decision-making power in local government planning processes ensures future policies and programs are designed to be widely accessible and address a range of community priorities. This process is time-consuming but can uncover synergistic opportunities to address multiple issues and fosters the buy-in and trust that are ultimately essential to delivering effective local climate imperatives.

Why is Housing Electrification a Priority?

Building electrification is the most cost-effective path to meet our carbon goals and mitigate the catastrophic impacts of global climate change. We must move quickly to electrify millions of existing buildings and decommission thousands of miles of gas pipelines by 2030, and initiate a thoughtful planning process now to prepare for an unprecedented investment in our building stock.

This toolkit focuses on electrifying homes because these buildings most directly impact our communities’ affordability, health, safety, and resilience. Communities must also plan to electrify their commercial building stock and modes of transportation and identify essential synergies between these efforts.

Please reach out to RMI and Emerald Cities Collaborative for other building electrification resources to support your community’s efforts to lead the clean energy transition:

This toolkit was made in partnership with Emerald Cities Collaborative.

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The toolkit also includes resources developed by the following organizations – American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Arup, Association for Energy Affordability, Bassett Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Building Decarbonization Coalition, Building Electrification Institute, BlocPower, C40 Cities, California Housing Partnership, California Workforce Development Board, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, Clean Energy Works, Climate Nexus, Comfort365, East Bay Community Energy, Energy+Environmental Economics, Elevate Energy, Facilitating Power, Greenlining Institute, Greenlink Analytics, HeatSmart Tompkins, Inclusive Economics, Mass Save, Michigan Saves, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City PODER, Rewiring America, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger, StopWaste, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, Upright Consulting Services, Urban Sustainability Directors Network – and the following municipalities: Alameda, CA; Ann Arbor, MI; Berkeley, CA; Denver, CO; Ithaca, NY; New York City, NY; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; San Luis Obispo, CA; and Seattle, WA.