Interested in Cleaning up Your House's Carbon Footprint?

David Roberts writes for Vox and is a generally reliable voice on climate issues.  He is credited with originating the phrase “Electrify Everything”. Turns out, he attempted to convert to all-electric systems in his house about 5 years ago. Thank goodness time is marching on because his challenges then have evolved. In this article, he reviews a lengthy Rocky Mountain Institute report called The Economics of Electrifying Buildings. You can read the whole thing, or Roberts’ article about it, but here’s the quick summary:

  • Is it economical? It depends. For new construction, yes, especially when you consider that the lifetime cost is likely to be lower, significantly lower with solar.
  • Retrofits can be a challenge, but prices are coming down and there are increasingly rebates available making the math work in lots of circumstances.
  • If you’re replacing your heating system, the new heat pump technology warms your house in the winter, and cools it in the summer – it’s like getting an AC system for free. And they’re super efficient.
  • Switching from propane or oil? Electrification is quite competitive.

An all-electric home is a comfortable home, with better air quality. And, if you’re worried about replacing that gas range, the newer induction stoves are even more responsive than gas. The experts agree.

SOLAR

Thinking about solar? Intimidated by all the options, by the sales people coming to your door or accosting you at the hardware store? Knowledge is your friend. Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Try EnergySage. They’ve got information about the basics, financing, cost benefit, batteries, the whole sunny enchilada. They’ve also got a solar calculator that will give you the pop in your address and average monthly electric bill and bing-bang-boom, you’ve got an estimate of how much solar you could generate and projected savings.
  • Google Project SunRoof – Do you know if you have a good solar roof?

GOT GAS? Get rid of it.

Did you know that 40% of an average homes carbon footprint is natural gas for heating?  Electric resistance heating, or more efficient heat pumps (that provide both heating and cooling)  are 100% carbon-free (assuming your power is clean).

Retrofitting for Energy Savings

  • One family’s savings (in Canada!)