WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced that he will soon introduce the Zero-Emission Homes Act of 2021, legislation to provide rebates for the purchase and installation of electric appliances and equipment in single-family homes and multifamily buildings, with additional support for low- and moderate- income households.
Senator Heinrich released the framework for the Zero-Emission Homes Act of 2021 that will be introduced in the coming weeks.
“Electrifying our homes and businesses is one of the surest climate actions that we can take right now. We can use already existing, proven technologies to dramatically reduce carbon pollution, create millions of good-paying jobs, and secure a more equitable future for our communities,” said Heinrich. “The goal of the Zero-Emission Homes Act is to make the economic, environmental, and health benefits of electrification affordable and accessible to all Americans.”
Clean, electric appliances for heating, cooling, cooking, and other household functions are available now and, in most instances, are as good, if not better, than their fossil-fuel counterparts. Electric appliances also avoid the harmful health effects -- such as childhood asthma -- increasingly associated with the burning of fossil fuels in homes.
Electrification also offers enormous economic opportunities. According to a new report from the non-profit Rewiring America, Bringing Infrastructure Home: A 50-State Report on U.S. Home Electrification, 86% of households in America would save money on monthly energy bills today if they were using modern all-electric equipment. At least 57% of households in New Mexico — 447,000 — could save $131 million a year on energy bills. The savings are biggest for the 341,000 households in New Mexico across every county who are currently using electric resistance, fuel oil, or propane and would save $385 per year on average. Manufacturing, installing, and servicing these appliances would also create over one million new jobs with the potential to pay family-sustaining wages, with installer and servicing jobs distributed across every county in America.
"The national infrastructure debate just got a lot more relevant to American families,"said Ari Matusiak, CEO of Rewiring America, a nonprofit with the mission of electrifying everything. "Senator Heinrich is making real the promise of a zero emissions America by 2050, making electrifying your home the obvious choice once the upfront costs are no longer a barrier. The widespread job creation and the savings on utility bills that 86 percent of American households would immediately see are a potent political argument for this bill."
In April, Senator Heinrich introduced the Electrifying America’s Future Resolution to advance the vision of widespread electrification in the U.S. His guest essay calling for electrifying large parts of the U.S. economy and changing the supply of that electricity from polluting fuels to clean energy was published in The New York Times earlier this month.