Natural Gas Bans Provide an Opportunity to Switch to Electric
Back in June 2019, the City of Berkeley made headlines as the first city to ban the installation of natural gas hookups in new construction projects. The number of California municipalities that have followed suit is 26 and counting, as this move toward all-electric homes takes a foothold among legislating bodies all across the country.
The Case Against Natural Gas
So why is the move away from natural gas a good thing? With more than half a million new customers added to the U.S. gas system each year, natural gas consumption represents 89% of direct fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions from residential and commercial buildings.
By cutting back on natural gas, cities can reduce their local carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, meaning improved local air quality. An additional benefit of “electrification” or going “all-electric” reduces the risk of an accidental explosion, like in the case of the gas explosions in Merrimack County, Massachusetts back in 2018.
By switching to energy-efficient all-electric appliances, homeowners and business owners can leverage a cleaner electricity grid that utilizes more wind and solar power.
Ways to Switch to an All-Electric Home
The transition away from using fossil fuels opens the door for energy-efficient, all-electric systems, and appliances. While switching to an induction stovetop is a great way to start, there are other ways to upgrade your whole home to all-electric. Here’s our top list of ways to switch to an all-electric home with the benefits Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing:
1. Heat Pumps & Ductless Mini-Splits
Heat pump technology allows home heating and cooling in one appliance, and does not include combustion or fossil fuel-based heating methods. Heat pumps and ductless mini-splits are about 50% more efficient than traditional heating methods and can be used as targeted, single room solutions or as a whole-home system.
2. Heat Pump Water Heaters
Using the same heat pump technology as mini-splits, heat pump water heaters use the existing heat inside of a home to more efficiently heat the water you use for bathing, washing clothes, dishes, and throughout your faucets. Heat pump water heaters are two to three times more energy-efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters, without using combustion to create the required heat.
3. Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Also called on-demand water heaters, this appliance does away with the large tank of traditional water heaters. Tankless water heaters instantly heat the water you need, right when you need it, using electricity. This means there is no more wasted energy re-heating the remaining water in a hot water tank while doing away with any fossil fuel heat generation.
4. Powering an All-Electric Home with Solar
Lastly, to ensure that an all-electric home is utilizing clean energy is by installing a residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system. What’s better than powering all your energy-efficient electric upgrades than from the energy generated from your solar PV system. This renewable energy source reduces your reliance on grid-supplied electricity and mitigates the risk of paying unpredictable energy prices in the future. BONUS: Add a solar battery as part of your PV system to enjoy renewable energy 24/7, even in a power outage!
Going All Electric with PACE
While the upfront costs of installing all-electric appliances in a new building are estimated at 30% less than the traditional combination of electric and gas, the cost of converting existing appliances is harder to calculate as it is based on each homeowner’s needs. However, programs like PACE financing are giving homeowners options for adapting to a future without natural gas.
PACE financing offers an option for homeowners looking to pay for their all-electric conversion over time but wants to enjoy the benefits now. Plus, there are built-in safeguards to protect against sub-par contractor work and confusion. With a low fixed interest rate and no required upfront costs, homeowners can use PACE to finance an all-electric conversion with no prepayment fees, comprehensive disclosures, direct customer support, and flexible repayment options.
Are you wondering if your next electric conversion project is on the list? Browse the PACE home improvement project list, and rest easy knowing PACE financing has the consumer protections you need to transition into a future without natural gas.