Move over, electric vehicles. A new trend—called the “electrify everything” movement—is making its way to the headlines. Depending on where you live and when your home was built, it may run solely on electricity or a combination of electricity and natural gas. Electrification proponents are pushing to eliminate or at least reduce the need for natural gas in our homes. The upshot: When fitted with rooftop solar arrays, these all-electric or mostly-electric dwellings are then ideally suited to become Zero Net Energy (ZNE) or Near Zero Energy (NZ) homes—thereby minimizing their impact on the environment.
What is Home Electrification?
Electrifying your home is exactly as it sounds. You convert any gas-powered appliances or technologies—like your home heating system, stove, or water heater—to run on electricity. The idea is that electricity can be produced by cleaner, renewable sources whereas natural gas relies on fossil fuels. It’s important to note that electricity isn’t 100% clean just yet, but more renewable energy improvements are coming to help get there. Unfortunately, converting gas-powered homes to electricity isn’t as simple as it sounds and that is one of the biggest obstacles.
Why Should You Electrify Your Home?
The number one way to reduce our carbon footprint is to reduce energy consumption. Using less energy requires a lot of change—from individuals up to societal levels. Switching to cleaner energy sources is another way, but the costs involved are much higher. Since these costs are high, the best times to convert to electric power is either when building a new home or as your gas-powered appliances break.