Home electrification: all your questions answered
Why is electrification needed?
Our climate is changing around us faster than predicted, and its effects are being felt around the world. From heavy rain and floods to heatwaves and other extreme weather events, fighting against climate change is now more important than ever.
The residential sector currently accounts for almost 11% of the world’s total carbon emissions. In this challenging situation, electrified households present an unequivocally cheaper and more sustainable future for everyone. There are many different technologies in our everyday lives that can now be powered by electricity and help us limit our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint.
Here, we answer some of your questions about electrification and the steps you can take to electrify your home and make it more energy-efficient.
What is electrification?
According to Resources for the Future, electrification is the process of replacing technologies that use fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas) with technologies that run on electricity.
What could be a good first step towards home electrification?
Any device we own that burns fossil fuels can be replaced with a high-performance electric alternative that will produce far fewer emissions. Examples of going electric are replacing your gas range with an electric hob, switching to a heat pump rather than a furnace, and using an electric dryer to dry your clothes.
To take a step further toward clean energy, many homeowners also install solar panels and battery storage. This enables them to use solar energy to power their homes and reduce their carbon footprint.
Why are solar panels & battery storage important when electrifying your home?
Solar PV panels, known as photovoltaics (PV), take in the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity for your home, helping you save on your energy bills — and protecting you against further price hikes — while also making your household more sustainable.
Furthermore, installing a home battery will help ensure that your home can store any solar power not used straight away. By installing a smart battery, instead of switching back to traditional energy suppliers for all of your energy needs, when the sun goes down, you can use the energy built up during the day within the solar battery.
Interested in knowing more about solar energy and battery storage? Read our blog for 20 interesting facts about solar energy.
I’m planning to go all-electric. But do I need to replace all of my appliances all at once?
The beauty of planning to go all-electric is that you can do it at a pace that works for you. Perhaps you need furnace replacement now but would like to eventually replace your oven range with an induction stove in the future. From switching to a heat pump to installing solar panels, you can plan every aspect of your electrification step by step and at a pace that best suits your needs.
Furthermore, cleantech businesses are currently reviewing various standards, such as Matter, in order to understand how the standardisation of communication between different smart home products could positively impact the industry and help accelerate the home electrification process.
Won’t an all-electric home increase my energy bills?
Although it might require an initial investment, upgrading to newer, efficient all-electric appliances can actually save you money in the long term. These electric technologies can save you money since they use less energy, making them cheaper to run over their 10-25 year lifetimes.
Rewiring America, the US leading nonprofit electrification organisation, estimates that more than 103 million American households would start saving money on their monthly energy bill right away if electric heat pumps for space and water heating cost the same to buy and install as the fossil-fueled machines they’re replacing.
For the best advice on home electrification, “Electrify Everything in Your Home” by Rewiring America is a guide to replacing all of your fossil-fueled appliances with modern electric ones. Download the free e-book and find some additional resources here.
Besides electrifying my home, what else can I do to lower my emissions?
If you are keen to reduce your carbon footprint, there are also many changes in your behaviour that you can make, such as eating less meat, buying fewer things of higher quality that will last longer, and flying and driving less. However, the most significant impact you can make is electrifying everything in your home.