Electrification and the Environment | AEC

Lower Carbon Heating for the Environment and Your Community

The heating choices you make affect more than your own home, they can affect your community and climate change for the entire world! That can feel like a lot of responsibility. But even small choices can have a big impact.

Any source of home heating, including electricity, creates greenhouse gas emissions during its production or generation as well as while heating your home. Most electric power is generated by fossil gas and coal, which also generate dangerous levels of carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases. That's why it is important to learn as much as you can.

Power Outages Can be Deadly

Right now, the electric power grid can’t handle the demand from increased electrification of heating and transportation. Across the country, the utilities have been warning for years of rolling or sustained power outages as more homes switch to electric heating and more EVs are on the road.

Power outages can kill. Without electricity, many medical devices won’t function, from the nebulizer for a child’s asthma to the oxygen tank for a senior citizen with lung disease.

  • These challenges hit the poorest communities the hardest: a recent New York City Department of Health report shows that “neighborhoods with more households that rely on electric medical equipment also have higher rates of poverty1 and in some neighborhoods, nearly 17% of households include someone needing this equipment.
  • That same report identified a four-fold spike in respiratory hospitalizations and 189 deaths during and after the 2003 blackout.
  • From the report: “The deaths could have been caused by many dangers of power outages: people not being able to charge medical equipment, not being able to use air conditioning on hot days, or experiencing increased physical and mental stress and isolation of living without elevators or subways.”2

Electric Power Plants Endanger the Community

There are 3,477 power plants in the country3, using more than 500 million tons of coal and more than 11,584 trillion Btu of fossil gas annually.

  • That’s enough coal to fill more than 4.3 million train cars, stretching 55,512 miles and crossing the country from New York to California more than 19 times!
  • That much gas is equivalent to more than 96 million gallons of gasoline, filling an average car 7.4 million times; or more than 84 million gallons of heating oil – filling up your oil storage tank 306,626 times.

But those power plants aren’t just burning through dirty, carbon-producing fuels, they are directly impacting the health and well-being of the most at-risk communities. Think about it, when did you ever see a power plant in a wealthy neighborhood?

  • 2,204 U.S. power plants, or 64%, are near disadvantaged communities where at least half the community is at or below twice the federal poverty level4.
  • 46%, or 1,599 U.S. power plants are in communities where the majority of residents identify as people of color5.

The air pollution from fossil gas-burning power plants has been connected to increases in cancer, asthma, and additional financial burdens from lost workdays and restricted activities.

We all breathe better with Bioheat® fuel!

The biodiesel in Bioheat® fuel is a natural, renewable resource that lowers emissions of carbon and other pollutants as soon as you start using it. That’s better for everyone.

A recent study of 13 locales that are regularly exposed to high rates of pollution from petroleum diesel found that switching to B100, or 100% biodiesel for home heating and transportation6, would:

  • Prevent 340 premature deaths per year
  • Result in 46,000 fewer sick days
  • Reduce cancer risks by 45% and
  • Reduce or lessen 203,000 asthma attacks

In the most severely affected areas, like the Bronx, New York, switching to Bioheat® fuel could lead to7:

  • 83% reduction in cancer-related burdens
  • $639,000 fewer asthma-related medical costs
  • $1.12 million in financial benefits from fewer restricted activity and lost workdays
  • Communities could see health risks drop 92%, from 125 per million to less than 10 per million.

When you choose Bioheat® fuel, you choose to lower your carbon footprint, save thousands on equipment installations, and make your community a better, cleaner, healthier place to live.

©2024 American Energy Coalition. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Contact Us