Buildings & Energy

Energy use in buildings is our region’s largest source of emissions, and includes the electricity and gas that heat and power homes and offices. See the regional buildings and energy strategies and actions.

building

  1. Electricity Use
  2. Natural Gas Use

Target

Reduce total electricity consumption 20% below 2015 levels by 2030 and 30% below 2015 levels by 2050.

Outlook

  Not on track.

Energy use in the region has risen overall since 2015, with a 7.7% increase in demand for electricity and a 19.3% increase in demand for natural gas. Prior to 2020, energy use was increasing in residential and commercial buildings, while industrial use was trending down. The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily changed where people spent time, leading to a sharp decrease among commercial customers, and a slight rise in residential demand. To reach our shared targets, energy use will need to significantly decrease.

Data Table

Strategies and Actions

Reduce energy use in both existing and new buildings. Reducing energy use not only reduces emissions but also saves business owners and residents money in utility costs. Actions to support this strategy include providing incentives for energy efficiency measures such as tax exemptions or land use incentives, requiring energy performance ratings so that potential buyers and renters can be informed, updating development codes, and more. 

Increase the production of local renewable energy. Producing local renewable energy can increase local resiliency, decrease costs to ratepayers, and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. Actions to support this strategy include creating group solar purchasing programs, amending local codes to support solar-ready construction, and more.

Convert to cleaner fuel sources. Washington State’s Clean Energy Transformation Act requires electricity providers in our state to shift to 100% clean energy by 2045. With a cleaner electrical grid in place, the next step is shifting away from the use of natural gas and other polluting fuel sources. Actions to support this strategy include educating business owners and residents on electric appliance options and benefits, phasing out natural gas connections in new buildings, and more. 

See the full list of the buildings and energy strategies and actions.

Contact Us

  1. Allison Osterberg
    Senior Planner
    osterberga@trpc.org

    Thurston Regional Planning Council
    2411 Chandler Court SW
    Olympia, WA 98502
    Ph: 360-956-7575