Electrifying Everything Raises Energy Costs in Winter
The push to electrify everything in American homes, touted as a climate-friendly initiative, is increasingly proving to be a costly endeavor. Recent data from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Winter Fuels Outlook for 2023-24 reveals that the electrification of heating, promoted by some affluent NGOs, is significantly more expensive than using natural gas, imposing a regressive tax particularly burdensome on low and middle-income families.
The report discloses that the average U.S. homeowner opting for electricity to heat their home faces an additional cost of approximately $462 compared to those using natural gas, translating to a staggering 77% increase. In the Northeast, consumers relying on electric heat are expected to pay nearly double ($1,465) compared to their gas-heating counterparts ($761). The cost disparity remains consistent across all regions of the country, with heating using natural gas proving more economical than electricity.
This isn’t the first time such revelations have come to light. The Department of Energy (DOE) previously published data showing that the electrify-everything agenda translates to higher energy costs for consumers. The DOE’s findings, based on the representative average unit costs for residential energy sources in 2023, indicate that electricity is estimated to cost 3.3 times more than natural gas on an energy-equivalent basis. These figures, published by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, debunk claims that electrifying everything would “lower energy costs,” instead revealing a regressive tax on consumers.
It’s worth noting that these findings align with consistent trends observed in the annual DOE reports, emphasizing the long-standing cost-effectiveness of using natural gas directly in homes compared to electricity. The regressive energy tax associated with the electrify-everything movement was highlighted as early as 2021.
Despite these revelations, well-funded NGOs like the Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Institute, Rewiring America, and the Building Decarbonization Coalition continue to advocate for the electrification agenda. These groups, with a combined budget exceeding $800 million annually, have successfully influenced policies leading to the banning or restriction of natural gas usage in various communities.
In California alone, 76 communities have implemented bans or restrictions on natural gas, while similar measures have been enacted in Seattle, New York, and Boston. These efforts, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, mark a coordinated attempt to eliminate natural gas usage and promote the electrification of homes and buildings.
The current EIA report reveals the adverse impact of such policies on American households. Approximately 61 million homes in the U.S. rely on natural gas for heating, while about 56 million use electricity. The consequences of the electrify-everything movement extend beyond increased costs, raising concerns about energy security and the resilience of the electric grid.
Energy security relies on diversity of supply, yet the electrify-everything agenda concentrates solely on electricity, even as the electric grid faces challenges in meeting existing demand. Policymakers should prioritize ensuring that energy remains affordable, reliable, and resilient, rather than pursuing an agenda that achieves the opposite.
In conclusion, the data from the EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook underscores the hidden costs associated with the push to electrify everything. American households, particularly those in lower-income brackets, face the burden of significantly higher energy bills as a result of misguided policies influenced by affluent NGOs.