Rural electric cooperatives are increasingly enthusiastic about a process that will increase their sales while saving their members money and reduce carbon emissions: beneficial electrification. Beneficial electrification refers to the replacement of fossil-fuel powered systems with electrical ones in a way that reduces overall emissions, while providing benefits to the environment and to households. An example would be switching from propane heating to electric heating, or from a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle.
EESI partnered with the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Iowa Policy Project, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, RE-AMP Network, and We Own It to produce a report examining beneficial electrification as a pathway for rural electric cooperatives to decarbonize their power grids equitably, with a particular focus on the Midwest. Making cooperatives more sustainable would have a significant impact on U.S. carbon emissions: about 900 co-ops nationwide provide power to 13 percent of all Americans and 56 percent of the U.S. landmass.