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.

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 policy mandating the minimum percentage of new building construction, industry, and appliances that must be powered by electricity rather than fuels.

Note that the Baseline 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 incentivized highly incentivized
Minimum percentage of new buildings and industry 0% to 39% 40% to 69% 70% to 100%

Model Structure🔗

This input directly forces growth of electrification up to a minimum percentage, unlike the inputs for energy sources, which change the financial attractiveness to drive future behavior.

This input affects climate outcomes through two pathways:

  1. Changing energy demand. The efficiency for electrified energy use is generally greater than for the direct burning of coal, oil, and gas.
  2. Changing fuel mix. Increased electrification decreases use of oil but then increases use of coal, natural gas, and renewables in electricity generation.


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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