What is Beneficial Electrification?

If you are like most Americans, you are interested in saving money on energy costs and doing your part to help the environment. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do both?

Well, you can, through a concept called beneficial electrification. This utility industry term refers to innovations in energy technologies that create new ways to use electricity instead of on-site fossil fuels—such as propane, natural gas, and fuel oil—in a way that reduces overall different electronic devices showing energy useemissions and energy costs.

In essence, by virtue of being plugged into the grid, the environmental performance of electric devices improves over time. As Peninsula Light Co. and other utilities shift to more options that include renewable energy sources to make existing generation technologies cleaner, electricity will require less fossil fuel per kilowatt-hour of energy produced.

Here’s how this concept impacts you. It means that electric appliances such as your water heater, clothes dryer, oven, and even your lawn care equipment have the potential to become greener. When PenLight takes advantage of advances in technology and the market at the generation point (how the electricity is produced), it means those efficiencies are inherently passed along to you, the consumer-member.

Electricity is Getting Cleaner

Because large appliances have a typical life span of about 10 years, it means you benefit from the flexibility of the grid and the increased efficiency of the particular appliance. In other words, the high-efficiency electric oven you have today could soon be powered by renewable sources in the near future. This would not be the case with gas appliances, where you are essentially locked into the technology of that appliance for the 10-year life span.

As PenLight taps into more renewable options in the future, your electric appliance has the potential to become greener and more energy-efficient. The only way you would benefit from this trend is through an electric appliance.

Small Steps to Help the Environment

For consumers and homeowners looking for more environmentally friendly options, choosing electric appliances, tools, and cars over those powered by fossil fuels is an easy solution. Whether through electric lawnmowers, blowers, and weed trimmers (plug-in or rechargeable) or electric water heaters and other appliances, beneficial electrification is a means to reducing greenhouse gases and helping our environment. It can also translate into a better quality of life. For example, when you can trade the loud rumble of a gas-powered mower or blower for the quiet efficiency of electric versions, you eliminate the exhaust emissions and the unpleasant noise.

How We're Doing Our Part to Help the Environment

house illustration with different electrical devicesAs the overall energy sector evolves, PenLight is striving to take advantage of advances in technology and market opportunities as they become available. This means PenLight can leverage the flexibility of the grid to offer a broad range of renewable power selections as we continue to bring safe, reliable, and affordable power to our community.

We also promote energy efficiency through rebate programs for heat pumps, lighting, and smart devices. Through the MyMeter tool, we offer our members the convenience and ability to manage and monitor their energy use.

We care about our community. PenLight is your trusted energy partner, ready to discuss available renewable energy options and recommend more ways to reduce your energy use. When you participate in the energy-efficiency programs and incentives offered, you are doing your part to save energy and improve the environment. While each member’s reduction might be small, together, they can lead to significant savings of money and emissions. That means a brighter future for all of us.