Infrastructural transformation and equity in California’s gas to electric heating transition

Waterfront
Salma Elmallah
PhD Candidate
Energy and Resources Group

Residential building electrification – the process of transitioning homes from using fossil fuels to using electricity for space and water heating – is increasingly foregrounded in climate change mitigation policy in Northern California, where my research is based, and beyond. With this foregrounding of building electrification has come demands for and discussions of equitable electrification that embed building electrification in a wider housing, labor, and environmental justice context. My research investigates how municipal policy-making conceives of and responds to demands for equitable electrification by studying electrification planning processes in Oakland and San Jose. Drawing on interviews and document analysis, I've been observing differences in how actors conceive of and articulate equity, and how embedded modes of energy policymaking and knowledge production can circumscribe claims for equitable electrification and climate change mitigation.

 

2021 Summer Research funded by Global Metropolitan Studies