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How To Electrify Your Home

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The words "Electrify your home" over an induction stove with a stainless steel pot on top.
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As part of the new energy revolution, electrifying your home is one of the best ways to help build a sustainable future. Not only can an all-electric home reduce a property’s fossil fuel dependency, but it can also save you money on your living costs with a highly-efficient energy system.

To help you electrify your home, let’s look at all of the ways to make it happen, the pros and cons, as well as the common costs and rebates associated with modern home electrification.

What exactly does it mean to electrify your home?

Before we get started, let’s clearly define what it means to electrify your home:

Electrifying your home means replacing any gas-powered device that creates carbon emissions, such as a gas furnace or gas water heater, with a zero-emissions electric alternative that often performs better, is safer, and can be much cheaper to operate.

No, we're not talking about finally adding power to your off-grid cabin. Instead, home electrification is all about finding alternatives to fossil fuel-powered appliances.

Today, about one in every four homes in the United States is fully electric. This means that approximately 75% of US homeowners depend on fuels other than electricity for their everyday life.

Common Appliance Replacements for Home Electrification

In addition to electricity, many American homes have a natural gas line that helps to power home appliances for cooking, space heating, water heating, and more. Thankfully, there are many electric choices that can provide the same functionality as today’s gas-powered home appliances, and often provide additional benefits as well.

Heating and Cooling Systems

As a gas furnace alternative, heat pumps are among the most popular electrical heating and cooling systems installed in United States homes today. Heat pumps can replace both gas furnaces and air conditioners simultaneously, in one energy-efficient and environmentally friendly appliance.

Within your home, gas fireplaces can also be replaced with similar electric units. Likewise, though not electric, wood-burning fireplaces can be utilized to reduce the dependence on burning fossil fuel with a system that is powered by sustainably sourced biofuel (firewood pellets).

Water Heaters

Water heating accounts for roughly 20% of residential energy use in the United States, with people all over the country utilizing natural gas, electricity, and other sources of power to heat their home’s water.

When electrifying your home, an electric water heater such as a heat pump is a great gas water heater alternative. Heat pumps use electricity to move the warmth from the surrounding air into your hot water tank, and can be assisted with both geothermal and solar energy to keep operating costs low and emission-free.

Oven, Stove, and Cooking

In 2022, electric cooking appliances are becoming more and more common in the United States, however, nearly one-third of homes in the country still have natural gas stoves in their kitchen. By finding a gas stove alternative, you can minimize the health risks associated with nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO) emissions within your home, reducing indoor air pollution.

Today, there is a wide range of induction stove, oven, and cooktop options for sale from most major appliance retailers, from most major appliance brands, and they often have the same benefits as gas-powered stoves (quick heat-up times, fast water boiling, and the ability to instantly stop producing heat) without the drawbacks of burning natural gas.

Laundry Room Clothes Dryers

Although cooking, space heating, and hot water systems are the three most common electrification upgrades, you may also find opportunities to electrify your life on the other parts of your property.

In the laundry room, if you have a gas-powered clothes dryer, substituting that appliance for an efficient electric unit is fairly easy, with a straightforward installation and a wide range of price options. Going even further, if you are serious about cutting back on power use, you can always choose the old-fashioned way and dry your clothes out on a line.

Other Appliances

Outside of your house, small gasoline and propane-powered devices may sometimes be an afterthought when striving to create a fully electric home. For complete electrification on your property, don’t forget to look out for barbecues, gas-powered lawn mowers, weed whackers, and other small lawn tools and appliances, and replace them with electric or battery-powered alternatives.

Vehicles

Although technically not a home appliance, electric vehicles are one of the most important aspects to widespread electrification in the United States. By charging an electric vehicle in your driveway, your mode of transportation becomes interconnected with your home’s energy system, which can have serious benefits to the way you live your life.

With fewer trips to the fuel station and more energy consumption at home, buying an EV can shift your spending from gasoline to electricity instantly. To prevent overspending and to save more on monthly utility bills, changing an EV with solar panels is a great way to electrify your life without excessive, unexpected expenses.

Pros and Cons of Home Electrification

As with all home upgrades, electrification can be an intimidating undertaking when you’re budgeting for the cost of a property enhancement. While you may be interested in reducing your carbon emissions, it is completely natural to wonder whether or not it will be financially or logistically worth it to go electric at home without a stressful or expensive experience.

To put it plainly, here are the primary benefits and drawbacks of home electrification in 2022:

Pros

Cons

  • Can be costly upfront to install home upgrades
  • Increases home electricity consumption, which can be more expensive than gas
  • Incentives are not available for all property owners
  • Payback periods vary between appliances

Bottom Line: Should You Electrify Your Home?

If you’re asking yourself whether or not you should electrify your home, that is a pretty good sign that the answer is already going to be “yes”.

Although many people choose to do it all at once with new construction, home electrification can be an ongoing process for those that cannot afford an immediate replacement of two or three major home appliances.

By electrifying now, homeowners can reduce the lifetime costs of their appliances, decrease air quality risks, and instantly lower their property's carbon footprint. Together, electrification and PV solar give homeowners the most control over the source and cost of the energy consumed on their property.

Common Challenges with Electrifying Your Home

By and large, the most common challenge with home electrification is retrofitting, as removing and replacing old appliances is not always as easy as it sounds. Homes built around gas-powered systems can incur some unexpected costs while safely dismantling old parts or modifying a home to install new systems.

When adding too many new electrical appliances at once, old homes may also need to have their main electric panel upgraded to accommodate the larger loads of power. If necessary, an electric panel upgrade can add an average of just over $1,000 to a home electrification project.

How much will it cost to electrify my home?

Speaking of total electrification costs, we suggest starting with a full-home assessment, which may run a few hundred dollars. Having an expert design a solution for you may be the best way to electrify efficiently all at once, or over a long period of time as appliances age and break.

Average Costs of Home Electrification

Based on a study from the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost to fully electrify a home in the United States is somewhere between $3,988 and $15,100 in major metropolitan areas like Baltimore, Houston, Denver, and Minneapolis.

If you’ve said to yourself, “It’s time to electrify my home,” then just keep in mind that the costs are going to vary as they specifically relate to your unique property. While some homes only require one or two upgrades, the total cost to purchase and retrofit major appliances will depend on the size of the components needed to meet the energy demand of your home.

In general, heat pumps and water heater upgrades are the most expensive appliance to replace while electrifying your home, costing up to $9,000 for large systems. Beyond heating and air, you can expect to also spend around $1,000 for an induction stove, or around $600 for a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station.

Available Rebates and Incentives

Alongside tax incentives for solar energy and storage, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 enacted a few federally available rebates for home electrification in the United States. With a qualified update, taxpayers can receive up to $8,000 on individual home electrification purchases like heat pumps, electric appliances, and wiring upgrades, up to $14,000 in total rebates, through Sept. 30, 2031.

Critically, households adopting high-demand electrification efforts for solar energy, battery storage, or EV Charging can save up to $4,000 on panel upgrades to accommodate the increased energy demand.

Going Solar & Home Electrification

Creating a sustainable home energy system by adding solar panels to your roof or property is the perfect complement to an all-electric home. By generating your own renewable energy onsite, you can guarantee that your home’s appliances will run on carbon-free electricity, while dramatically reducing your monthly electricity bills from the utility.

By adding solar battery storage, you can save even more on energy usage by avoiding peak electricity rates or banking extra power to keep your home’s necessary appliances up and running in the event of a blackout.

If you’re considering adding solar panels alongside full home electrification, Palmetto is here to help create the most efficient system possible for your power demands. To get started, you can use our Free Solar Design and Estimate Tool to instantly explore your savings!

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