Missoula's initiative to transition to a healthier, clean energy future.
This website is designed to share information and inspiration about why electrification matters, what it means and how to make a plan. Not every option will work for every person, so it's critical to think about your home, business or nonprofit space as an interconnected system, factoring in things like efficiency, weatherization, appliances and use.
We're here to answer questions and are working hard to keep this site updated in a rapidly changing landscape. Thanks for being on this journey with us.
In Missoula, many residences rely on methane gas (aka "natural" gas) for space and water heating & cooling, cooking, laundry and much more. As a result, our building sector is a major contributor to climate change. Combined methane gas emissions (residential, commercial and industrial) account for ~23% of our community's emissions. Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change requires that we phase out fossil fuels entirely, and that includes getting buildings off methane gas - which has a higher warming potential than CO2 in the short term.
Burning methane gas in your home can also pose a threat to your household's health and safety. Gas-powered systems contribute to unhealthy indoor and outdoor air quality and rely on sometimes dangerous gas line infrastructure. Studies have found that children and other vulnerable populations living in homes with gas stoves have significantly higher rates of asthma. Gas is highly combustible when mixed with air which makes residential gas leaks extremely dangerous.
Let's be honest, it's a dirty fossil fuel that can never be clean!
Electrifying your home will accelerate the demand for more clean electricity in our community.
The City of Missoula and Missoula County have established a goal of 100% clean electricity for the Missoula urban area by 2030. Although the electricity most Missoulians use today is ~ 60% "clean", this will shift as we work to increase the production of renewable energy.
In a 15-year time period, an all-electric home will produce ~2 tons of C02 compared to 30 tons in a mixed-fuel home. Especially when it comes to heating, switching from methane ("natural") gas to electricity can have a dramatic impact on carbon output.
Improve: Health and Comfort
Replacing gas appliances with electric appliances creates safer, healthier indoor environments for your home or business.
Cooking with methane gas can lead to levels of indoor air pollutants that the EPA would consider hazardous outdoors ! We're learning that all gas appliances leak. The more we learn about the health implications of burning methane gas, the more the concern. Learn more about health impacts here.
High-efficiency electric appliances can offer energy savings versus traditional gas appliances, even in cold climates.
A just transition.
The transition to clean energy is inevitable. A just and equitable transition is not.
Equitable Electrification means actively engaging communities that have been marginalized and historically left out of economic and community development conversations and opportunities. It means ensuring that the financial, health, and social costs of the energy transition aren't simply passed along to our most vulnerable community members. We don't have all the answers, but we are working to make this transition a democratic one and to make going electric affordable for all Missoulians.