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Survey reveals Americans support beneficial electrification to transition from fossil fuels to electricity

Transmission Tower
Credit: Photo by American Public Power Association

According to the latest nationwide customer survey from the Smart Energy Customer Collaborative (SECC), “Beneficial Electrification: The Voice of the Consumer U.S.,” customers are willing to transition from fossil fuels to electricity for transportation, heating, cooking and water heating.

As electricity generation in the U.S. becomes cleaner, electrification of transport and heating/cooling is gaining momentum among electric utilities and policymakers to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.

The study reached a sample of 1,200 Americans to gauge interest in switching to electricity, determine barriers and uncover underlying motivations for switching. It found considerable interest in switching to electricity for both residential cooking/heating/cooling and transportation.

68% of Americans believe it is important for electric utilities to invest in electric vehicle charging, and 62% want government leaders to invest in electric public transportation. 31% of Americans that currently own a gas-powered vehicle would make their next car purchase an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle if the price was the same, and interest remains stable with a 10% increase in price.

Americans are also supportive of a transition to electric-powered heating, cooking, water heating and other applications:

  • 68% are open to electric cooking.
  • 62% are willing to switch to electric heating.
  • 70% are open to electric water heating.

Additionally, 78% of Americans are open to powering other home appliances such as yard tools, sump pumps and generators, with electricity. For eco-conscious and tech-savvy Americans, interest is notably higher for all categories mentioned.

“Beneficial electrification represents one strategy by which utilities and government can reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change,” said SECC’s President & CEO Patty Durand. “This new study demonstrates that Americans are ready to pursue this path now.”