Today, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) announced the first-ever Electrification Caucus. The new, bicameral caucus will work to advance policies to accelerate widespread electrification. The lawmakers released the following statement highlighting the benefits of making electrification more accessible, including lowering energy bills, improving air quality and public health, addressing the climate crisis, and creating jobs:
"Electrifying our homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles is one of the most practical actions we can take to address the climate crisis and it deserves to be elevated. Using electricity for household needs like heating and cooking will help lower energy bills and insulate American families from volatile fuel prices. Electrifying our lives and our economy will also create jobs in local communities and improve the air we breathe in our homes and workplaces.
"U.S. energy-related emissions are significantly impacted by decisions we make around the kitchen table: how we heat our homes and water, how we cook our food and dry our clothes, what cars we drive, and how we power it all. Fortunately, key technologies to electrify our homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles are already widely available in the market.
"While there are broad positive returns to electrifying homes and buildings, American families can face ample barriers to making these initial investments. We will be working to break down those barriers to ensure electrification is accessible to everyone, including low- and moderate- income households.
"For our constituents who are rightfully demanding action on the climate crisis, electrification is something tangible and meaningful that we can do right now to make a difference. As members of Congress, we have the opportunity to put forward policies to help lower upfront costs, reduce friction points, and increase access to these technologies for all of our constituents," said Heinrich, Smith, Tonko, and Castor.
Some of the issues the Electrification Caucus will address are:
Consumer rebates, consumer-facing tax credits, and financing mechanisms
Justice and equity issues related to electrification
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Grid improvements and expanding transmission
Upstream incentives to spur U.S. manufacturing
Transition of electric sector to clean energy
Incentives to encourage electrification of industrial processes and facilities