Much of our thinking about the built environment is focused on individual buildings, which is generally a useful framework. Buildings align with ownership, buildings are regulated by zoning and codes, buildings frequently represent a utility customer, and buildings typically have their own heating and cooling systems. But many of the services that buildings receive are developed as part of a broader infrastructure, such as community water and sewer plants, transportation networks, and electricity.
Moving vehicle fuels from gasoline to electricity causes tremendous anxiety in the oil industry; lots of gnashing of teeth and funding of political action committees. Moving buildings to electric space and water heat causes equally-concerning anxiety in the natural gas industry – especially for the regulated natural gas utilities who must respond to state policies and regulations, not just a changing market.