New Report- Electrifying Missouri’s buildings could cut carbon emissions and transform our energy system

Media Contacts
Bridget Sanderson

Former State Director, Environment Missouri

HB 488 and SB 141 will prevent Missouri cities taking steps towards climate action

Environment Missouri

Kansas City– Missouri could see a critical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and gas usage if it electrifies all of its buildings during the next 30 years, according to a new report released today by Environment Missouri Research & Policy Center, Mo PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. The study, Electric Buildings: Repowering Homes and Businesses for Our Health and Environment, found that completely repowering Missouri’s homes and businesses with electricity by 2050 is expected to result in net emissions reductions of 6.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide — equal to taking 1.5 million cars off the road — and reductions in pipeline gas usage equal to 146.4 billion cubic feet. 

The report also outlines how overcoming key barriers standing in the way of widespread building electrification can improve public health and play a key role in fighting climate change.

“It’s time to get rid of dirty, dangerous technologies and swap them out for efficient, electric ones to ensure that Missourians live cleaner, greener and all around healthier lives” said Bridget Sanderson, Director with Environment Missouri. “The possibilities we see in Missouri should give us the hope and motivation we need to kickstart the movement towards 100 percent electric buildings.”

In 2020, St. Louis became the fourth jurisdiction in the US to establish a building performance standard that mandates reductions in energy use of large municipal, commercial, institutional and multifamily residential buildings. Many will have to switch to electric alternatives to meet the requirements.

This report comes on the heels of the Kansas City metropolitan area releasing their Climate Action Plan, with an overall goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The plan lays out solutions with regards to building codes, where electrification of buildings and homes will assist in the city’s 100 percent renewable energy targets. 

Despite these climate goals and the benefits of electrification, Missouri communities may be on the verge of losing their freedom to transition off fossil fuelsHouse Bill 488 and Senate Bill 141, would restrict local governments’ ability to limit gas use in buildings and prevent them from going all-electric — preempting that power entirely to the state government. This legislation is part of a larger strategy by special interest groups, including gas companies, who have backed at least 19 similar bills across the country over the past two years. 


In addition to state-specific data, the study identifies the national benefits from banning fossil fuels in homes and businesses. Electrifying a majority of America’s buildings by 2050 could reduce net emissions from the residential and commercial sectors by 306 million metric tons, which is equivalent to taking about 65 million cars off the road.

Electric Buildings also emphasizes the role such electric technologies as heat pumps, water heaters and other electric appliances like induction stoves can play as America moves away from fossil fuels. Advances in electrifying these technologies have made them more efficient and affordable. This means that using fully electric systems in homes and commercial buildings now makes sense for owners in almost all instances of new construction. 

“Last century, many families saw their quality of life improve when they switched from a coal-burning stove to an electric or gas range, or an icebox to an electric refrigerator,” Sanderson said. “Today, a similar technological revolution is underway to replace fossil fuel heating and cooking with electric technologies. Current electric heat pumps offer better indoor climate control and lower operating costs than gas furnaces and the sooner America makes the switch, the sooner we’ll realize the benefits of cleaner and more efficient energy.”


Environment Missouri works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment Missouri is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.