Michael Kenney, Nicholas Janusch, Ingrid Neumann, Mike Jaske
The California Building Decarbonization Assessment is the initial report addressing the mandates from Assembly Bill 3232 (Friedman, Chapter 373, Statutes of 2018). The report analyzes scenarios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 and identifies several strategies that will lead to significant emission reductions. The analysis includes emissions attributed to electricity and gas use in buildings, and from refrigerants. The strategies include electrification, electricity generation decarbonization, energy efficiency, refrigerant leakage reduction, distributed energy resources, decarbonizing the gas system, and demand flexibility. The assessment shows that California can achieve significantly more than a 40 percent reduction by 2030 through these strategies. Efficient electrification of space and water heating in California’s buildings combined with refrigerant leakage reduction presents the most readily achievable pathway to a greater than 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Challenges exist to accomplishing these emission reductions, from consumer awareness to financing availability, but can be overcome and implemented equitably with collaboration and planning among state and local officials, utilities, environmental justice organizations, equipment manufacturers and distributors, financiers, and community leaders.