Beneficial electrification and how that could factor into future energy transitions was discussed by the Las Cruces City Council at its Feb. 8, 2021 work session, conducted via video conference.
Neil Kolwey and Matt Frommer, of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), told the Council that beneficial electrification means switching from fuel use to electricity to reduce air pollutant emissions, including greenhouse gases; decreasing customer energy costs; or improving utilization of energy grid resources. The Las Cruces City Council has been supportive and has set goals of reducing City government’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050.
Kolwey told the Council achieving aggressive reductions of greenhouse gases could come by improving energy efficiency as much as is feasibly possible; reducing the carbon intensity of the electric grid; and switching fuel use to electricity in buildings, vehicles, and industry. Kolwey added Las Cruces has opportunities to achieve beneficial electrification through possible changes in building codes, educational efforts for new residential construction, retrofits of existing buildings, and transitioning City government’s fleet vehicles to electric vehicles, and creating more electronic vehicle charging stations.
A resolution supporting beneficial electrification of the City Fleet is expected to be presented to City Council for consideration at its February 16 meeting.
SWEEP is a public-interest organization that promotes greater energy efficiency and clean transportation policy in the six southwestern states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. According to the organization’s website, SWEEP’s efforts have enabled the region to make greater strides in advancing energy efficiency in the past 19 years.
SWEEP collaborates with utilities, state and local governments, environmental groups, national laboratories, businesses, and other energy experts. Funding for SWEEP is provided primarily through charitable foundations, the U.S. Department of Energy, and business allies.