There are two main mechanisms for saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions with electric end-use technologies: 1) upgrading existing electric technologies, processes, and building energy systems; and 2) expanding end-use applications of electricity. Upgrading existing electric end-use technologies embodies replacing or retrofitting older equipment with new, innovative, highly-efficient technologies. It also includes improving controls, operations, and maintenance practices and reducing end-use energy needs by improving buildings and processes. In essence, this first mechanism is comprised of what are commonly referred to as energy efficiency and demand response measures. The second mechanism, expanding end-use applications of electricity, involves replacing less efficient fossil-fueled end-use technologies (existing or planned) with more efficient electric end-use technologies. It also encompasses developing new markets for electric end-use technologies that result in overall energy, environmental, and economic benefits.
This current study addresses the potential for expanding end-use applications of electricity to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. The focus is on converting residential, commercial, and industrial equipment and processes – existing or anticipated – from traditional fossil-fueled end-use technologies to more efficient electric technologies. This study serves to update and extend the work done in a 1991 EPRI study entitled Saving Energy and Reducing CO2 with Electricity (CU-7440). A key objective of the study is to inform utilities, electric system operators and planners, policymakers, and other electricity sector industry stakeholders in their efforts to develop estimates of the impacts of fuel conversion programs.