Electrify Maryland Homes!

 

The movement to create cleaner, healthier, all-electric new homes and buildings has gained steam across the country. Maryland must not fall behind and should support rapid building electrification in order to cut pollution from homes and buildings, or risk locking in emissions that will threaten the state’s climate goals while endangering Marylanders all across the state with dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. 

One of the most impactful and economically viable ways to approach electrification throughout Maryland is by starting with new homes. This  would benefit community members by giving them access to cleaner air, healthier homes, good jobs, affordable clean energy, and energy efficiency to reduce monthly energy bills, while helping the state meet its climate goals. 

That is why we are urging council members to support new building electrification across the state.

To demonstrate strong support, we will send the petition below in letter form along with the names of everyone who supports this measure to your county or city council. 

*the location names mentioned in the letter below will be updated for your location - so please be sure to give us your city, zip code, and County name*

Sign Up in Support of the Electrify Maryland Campaign!

Dear Council Member,

I am a { Your City/County } resident and support the full electrification of our county’s buildings. This goes beyond public buildings and should start with all new construction, eventually extending to existing building retrofits as well. Building electrification offers many benefits for the economy, human health, resilience, and equity. The impacts of climate change are significant and increasing, and they will continue to bring about many simultaneous and interwoven economic, social, and environmental crises if not addressed at the necessary speed and scale. 

In recent years, climate impacts have occurred in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial equity. Communities with high levels of air pollution—which also tend to be low-income communities and communities of color—have been hit hardest by COVID-19. Because climate change and the use of fossil fuels in homes presents numerous human health risks and exacerbates inequity, these problems are interlinked, and mitigating climate change in a just and equitable way is essential to avoid a downward spiral of constant exponentially increasing crises.

Building electrification means eliminating the use of fossil fuels, mainly gas, for functions like heating and cooking and replacing gas appliances with alternatives that use electricity. In Maryland, 18 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the buildings we live and work in. That is why building electrification is so important. Constructing inefficient buildings that depend on fossil fuels today would effectively “lock in” emissions far into the future. In other words, we should not be constructing new buildings that will immediately require retrofits to meet climate goals. As our electric grid gets steadily cleaner, building electrification can play a big role in fighting climate change. 

Moreover, burning gas releases nitrogen oxides and particulates. Research shows that air pollution from burning gas in buildings has negative health impacts, including exacerbating existing respiratory issues, increasing the risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19, and increasing the risk of developing asthma symptoms. These dangers are capstoned by the ever-present threat of gas explosions which we have seen happen in places like Baltimore City, Columbia, and all across the country.

All new structures and equipment must be built to align with emissions targets and should be highly efficient and all-electric. All-electric buildings are a necessary step in reducing carbon emissions for a cleaner, greener planet. To move quickly, cities and towns must confront this challenge locally. That is why I urge you to support building electrification, starting at the point of construction, and to do everything in your power to advocate for it across { Your City/County }.

This campaign is hosted by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. We will protect your privacy, and keep you informed about this campaign and others.