city in smog

Report | 2021

How Air Agencies Can Help End Fossil Fuel Pollution from Buildings

By Jim DennisonLeah Louis-PrescottTalor Gruenwald
Download the report below

Fossil fuel appliances like gas furnaces and water heaters emit substantial amounts of air pollution from our buildings into our neighborhoods. US building appliances release 425,000 tons of harmful nitrogen oxides each year—more than oil refineries or gas-fired power plants. This pollution causes significant health impacts including thousands of premature deaths each year, with severely disproportionate impacts in Communities of Color.

Replacing fossil fuel appliances with efficient, zero-emissions electric alternatives can dramatically reduce building pollution and the resulting health harms and inequities, while providing benefits ranging from job creation to protection from extreme heat.

This Insight Brief recommends that air agencies address appliance pollution and help guide an equitable transition to a pollution-free buildings future. These agencies have authority to set zero-emissions standards for new appliances, which can be designed equitably and in coordination with other decision makers’ building electrification efforts. This can help catalyze the policies and investments needed for an inclusive, affordable transition away from fossil fuels in our homes and buildings toward an all-electric future.

Click the “Download” button above for a PDF of the full insight brief. The infographics below are also available for download.