En-ROADS User Guide

Buildings and Industry – Electrification🔗

Increase the use of electricity, instead of fuels like oil or gas, in buildings, appliances, heating systems, and other machines. Using electric motors only helps reduce emissions if the electricity is from low-carbon sources like solar and wind.


  • Increase in public interest for replacing oil and gas furnaces in buildings with electric heating systems.
  • Research and development into various electric motors and systems that could enable wind and solar to replace oil and gas fired industrial facilities.

Big Messages🔗

Key Dynamics🔗

  • Fuel switching. When buildings and industry are electrified, sources of fuel that are used in buildings (e.g., oil for furnaces) are reduced and replaced with sources of electricity. Some types of energy, like coal, are used as both fuels and sources of electricity in buildings and industry, so electrification by itself does not change demand significantly. Other types of energy, like oil, are mostly used as fuel and infrequently used for electricity, so when electrification is increased, oil demand goes down significantly. Notice these changes on the Primary Energy Demand graphs.

  • Renewables growth. Electrification is necessary in order for buildings and industries to use renewables or other zero-carbon electricity. Notice how electrification enables Renewables primary energy demand to grow much faster than in the Baseline Scenario.

  • Delays. It takes decades for existing fuel-based equipment to retire and be replaced by electric equipment (this is known as “capital stock turnover delays”). As a result, the “Electric Share of Buildings & Industry Equipment Sales” graph rises faster than the “Electric Share of Total Buildings & Industry Equipment” graph.

Potential Co-Benefits of Encouraging Electrification🔗

  • Improved air quality near the energy source increases healthcare savings and worker productivity.
  • Eliminating demand for natural gas lines to buildings also eliminates the risks from fire and explosion.
  • Noise pollution from motor engines, generators, and furnaces is reduced.
  • Air quality for individuals working/living in and around the structures is improved, which increases healthcare savings and worker productivity.

Equity Considerations🔗

  • The up-front capital costs of retrofitting buildings and heating systems to be entirely electric may not be accessible to lower-income individuals and small businesses.
  • Exposure to household air pollution is unevenly distributed within and across countries, to which negative health effects and poverty are strongly correlated.1



Slider Settings🔗

The Buildings & Industry Electrification slider adds a subsidy for electric equipment in buildings and industrial facilities to encourage electric equipment to be used over equipment that requires fuels to be used (e.g., an electric heater or stove instead of one that is powered by gas).

Note that the Assumptions and other actions can contribute to electrification and can result in higher levels of electrification than what the slider target is set to.

status quo subsidized highly subsidized
Electric equipment subsidy* 0% to 5% 5% to 25% 25% to 50%

*Subsidy applies to sticker price or purchase cost.

Model Structure🔗

This input changes the financial attractiveness of electric appliances and equipment used in buildings and industry.

FAQs and Explainers🔗

Please visit support.climateinteractive.org for additional inquiries and support.


[1]: World Health Organization. (2021, Sep 22). Household air pollution and health.

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