Quantifying the Impacts of Building Electrification in Illinois

Posted by Reports on May 1, 2024 4:48:14 PM

Publish Date: May 1, 2024

Buildings account for about a fifth of the state’s emissions and the vast majority of buildings in Illinois burn fossil fuels for various appliances. Over 60% of natural gas burned in Illinois happens in buildings, primarily for heating. Therefore, building electrification is a crucial component of Illinois’ clean energy and climate strategy.  

More people in Illinois and across the country are installing electric heating systems, driven by improvements in the cost and technology, as well as laws like the state’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (2021). The rapid shift to electric heating systems like heat pumps will reshape the state’s energy management and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems workforce over the next several decades. The transition to electric appliances is expected to create new skilled jobs in the installation, maintenance, and management of electric heat pumps and related energy efficiency measures. Furthermore, Illinois’ economy is well-positioned to benefit from building electrification, because the state has more homes and businesses currently reliant on natural gas than the national average. 

This report reviews existing studies and quantifies the impacts we can expect on Illinois jobs in the energy sector resulting from building electrification. There is strong evidence that Illinois’ transition to electrifying buildings will have a net positive impact on the state’s economy and workforce in both the short and long run, and those impacts are likely to increase due to the state’s policy framework.  

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Topics: Energy Efficiency, Illinois, Building Electrification, Building Decarbonization