Complete Preliminary Research

Equitable Home Electrification Toolkit

Complete Preliminary Research

The policies and programs your community launches to electrify its homes must be designed within the context of your community’s housing stock, socioeconomic demographics, labor market, climate, and other local conditions. Teams should commission the necessary research and analysis efforts early in the planning process.

Identify Research and Analysis Needs:

Start by developing a list of questions that must be answered to inform your roadmapping effort, in partnership with community representatives. Clearly articulate how any piece of analysis will inform the development or deployment of your roadmap before completing it to avoid unnecessary work and consider how/where you can simplify your efforts by leaning on the work of others. Identify qualitative and/or quantitative methods for determining these answers, including the steps outlined below. Consider using the Research and Analysis worksheet in your Community Collaboration Workbook for this step.

Complete a Building Inventory:

Collect and consolidate information about your local housing characteristics from available sources, including city and county tax assessor records, census data, building permit records, utility data, and other third-party sources. Clearly articulate how you intend to use a new data stream before incorporating it. Determine how this inventory will be maintained over time and which other efforts it could inform.

Sample Building Inventory:

Use this anonymized sample produced by RMI to identify information worth collecting in your community and the public data sources you can rely on.

Perform Impact Analysis:

Define the energy, cost, health, and other impacts of electrification on your community. Your impact analysis may include the following components:

  • Representative customer economic analysis to better understand how electrification impacts a single resident
  • Community-scale impact analysis to quantify the net impact of proposed electrification policy
  • Supply-side analysis to identify issues (or opportunities) to address in partnership with your utility and/or CCA
  • Forecast of future conditions to determine where and how to phase in policy over time

BEI Resources for Cities:

Review the results of local analyses completed by the Building Electrification Institute for a better understanding of the research and analysis your community might need to move forward.

Perform Policy Research and Analysis:

As your team identifies the market conditions necessary for community-wide electrification, you will need to identify and analyze the available policy mechanisms for promoting those conditions. This will necessarily include engagement with any impacted departments, your city/county attorney, and potentially elected officials.

Roadmap Action Menu:

This resource catalogs the policy and program commitments made in building electrification/decarbonization roadmaps published by seven leading cities, which communities can use to chart their path forward.