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California’s grid can support all-electric buildings

Load-shifting will help reduce peak demand.

May 18, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Several local governments in California have passed building codes mandating that new buildings be 100% electric, banning the use of natural gas for space and water heating and cooking.

The state electrical grid is ready to handle additional demand from these actions, according to a post from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Electrification of space and water heating will increase California’s winter demand for electricity, but efficiency measures could blunt peaks.

Residential and commercial buildings will begin to shift to efficient heat pump space and water heaters, which can employ electricity during off-peak periods. Heat pump water heaters can function as thermal energy storage, preheating water when demand is low and renewable generation is abundant. They can then deliver hot water when demand is high, without drawing power from the grid.

Heat pump space heaters may also have some load-shifting potential. They can pre-heat homes at night to reduce the morning demand peak when people wake up.

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