Barriers to advancing efficient fuel switching in Minnesota homes

April 11, 2024 by Andy Lick

Under the ECO Act of 2021, the state of Minnesota allows utilities to count energy savings from efficient fuel-switching measures. According to MEEA, "the statute allows utilities to fuel-switch when the measure results in a net-reduction of source energy on a fuel-neutral basis, results in a net-reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, is cost-effective and improves the utility's system load factor."

Efficient fuel switching is clearly an important strategy to meeting the state of Minnesota's electrification goals. However, advancing efficient fuel-switching measures at scale could present unique financial or technological issues to many households in Minnesota, particularly homes already struggling to keep up with utility bills.

This study will identify technology and market barriers and opportunities to advance efficient fuel switching in Minnesota single-family homes with low to moderate incomes. The project team will collect information on home electrical upgrades and estimate average upgrade costs, assess household attitudes and motivations, and explore expanding the CIP trade ally network to include services from electrification solution providers.

This research was made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program, which is funded by Minnesota ratepayers.