New report identifies the residential electrification adoption rates required to meet our nation’s climate targets.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Wednesday, June 21, 2023 — The first-ever Pace of Progress report from nonprofit Rewiring America spells out specific, annual increases in the numbers of heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction stoves, electric vehicles, and rooftop solar systems that Americans must purchase and install to meet U.S. climate commitments. To get to zero emissions by 2050, Americans must decarbonize their own lives, trading out fossil fuel machines, household appliances, and vehicles for clean, efficient electric counterparts. The report reveals that 14 million more of these machines and systems must be purchased over the current three-year window to have a reasonable expectation of success.
“With polls showing awareness of what household electrification is and why the climate demands it in the low double digits, 14 million more clean, efficient electric machines by 2026 is all at once extraordinarily ambitious and absolutely possible,” said Ari Matusiak, Rewiring America’s co-founder and CEO.
“It’s possible because of historic investments in helping Americans make this transition, and the fact that these machines are not only more energy efficient, so cheaper to operate, but deliver better performance, comfort, health, and ease of maintenance. Now we have specific targets for increased sales and installations each year in this clean energy transition — and knowing our targets will be a powerful tool.”
The first Pace of Progress report illustrates the S-curve adoption rates for efficient electric technologies—adoption rates that will mimic those of other major technology transitions but with one key difference: In this case uptake is being stoked by the action of governments around the globe to speed the transition to a zero-carbon future. The Inflation Reduction Act is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy to help households purchase and install these machines, which are often much more affordable to operate than the fossil fuel devices they will replace. As market demand continues to grow, manufacturers will continue to innovate, improve efficiency, and reduce costs even further.
Currently, 16 percent of U.S. homes use electric heat pumps for space heating (and cooling). We find that nationally, electric heat pump sales need to be accelerated approximately three times over business-as-usual by 2032. This tells us that we need to inspire 240,000 sales of electric heat pumps over baseline in 2023, and 2.38 million sales of electric heat pumps over baseline cumulatively in the next three years.
Last year was the first year that U.S. heat pump sales outpaced fossil fuel furnace sales.
Currently, just one percent of U.S. homes use electric heat pump water heaters for water heating. We find that nationally, heat pump water heater sales need to be accelerated more than 10 times over business-as-usual by 2032. This tells us that we need to inspire 8,000 sales of heat pump water heaters over baseline in 2023, and 200,000 sales of heat pump water heaters over baseline cumulatively in the next three years.
Currently, four percent of U.S. homes use induction stoves for cooking, and 57 percent of homes in the U.S. use electric resistance stoves. Unlike the comparison between heat pumps/heat pump water heaters and electric resistance space/water heating, induction stoves do not have a significant efficiency benefit relative to electric resistance stoves. Both are about 80 percent efficient and therefore have similar energy bill impacts. For purposes of this analysis, we assume induction stoves replace only gas and propane stoves, and assume that the sales proportion of electric resistance stoves remains constant.
We find that nationally, induction stove sales need to be accelerated approximately five times over business-as-usual by 2032. This tells us that we need to inspire 260,000 sales of induction stoves over baseline in 2023, and 1,760,000 sales of induction stoves over baseline cumulatively in the next three years.
Currently, two percent of U.S. passenger cars are electric vehicles. We find that nationally, electric vehicle sales need to be accelerated approximately seven times over business-as-usual by 2032. This tells us that we need to inspire 920,000 sales of electric vehicles over baseline in 2023, and 6,700,000 sales of electric vehicles over baseline cumulatively in the next three years.
Currently, five percent of U.S. homes have rooftop solar. We target 100 percent of single-family homes having rooftop solar by 2050, where it is technically feasible to do so according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s report on Rooftop Solar Technical Potential. Since rooftop solar is not replacing existing machines, there’s no need to set a sales curve, and we can simply calculate the stock of rooftop solar over time.
We find that nationally, installations need to be accelerated approximately seven times over business-as-usual by 2032. This tells us that we need to inspire 442,000 rooftop solar installations over baseline in 2023, and 2.78 million rooftop solar installations over baseline cumulatively in the next three years.
Read the report and find shareable graphics here: Pace of Progress: Electrifying the machines in our lives at the rate required to transform the market and meet our climate goals.
For state-level breakouts, and for interviews with the report’s authors, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.