Beneficial Electrification in the Home
Strategy 2 of the A2ZERO Plan calls for the electrification of fossil fuel burning appliances and vehicles. Burning fossil fuels not only releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, but also various pollutants which can cause negative health and environmental effects. Electrification can eliminate these emissions from our local environment. Powering our electrical grid with 100% clean and renewable electricity (Strategy 1 of the A2ZERO Plan) is necessary to ensure that we are not displacing emissions and that we are achieving true carbon reductions.
Burning fossil fuels in the home presents unique challenges beyond the associated GHG emissions which contribute to a changing climate. Eliminating these appliances from the home can also improve the occupational health, safety, and comfort of the home.
Health and Safety
Gas burning stoves, furnaces, and dryers are major sources of indoor air pollution within homes, emitting nitrous oxides, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide - along with other pollutants. Homes with gas-burning stoves have nitrous oxide levels 50 to 400% higher than homes with electric stoves. These pollutants can cause levels of indoor air pollution to well exceed the stringent EPA standards for outdoor air quality. Indoor air quality is of serious importance to all households, especially those with children, as gas-related pollutants can have more serious effects on children than adults, including higher rates of asthma, learning deficits, and allergies.
[Image credit: RMI; click to enlarge]
Finding a Contractor
Homeowners searching for contractors to help them switch from gas-burning furnaces to heat pumps, or to learn how to prepare their homes for future electrification or solar, are often met with conflicting advice and/or outdated information. The City of Ann Arbor has partnered with Michigan Saves to create an Electrification Badging program to help homeowners find contractors who are well-versed in electrification, solar, and efficiency. Contractors who earn the Badge have completed a series of 5 training modules, as well as continuing education for badge maintenance. You can search for “Electrification” in the Contractor Locator, or else search for the type of contractor you are looking for, and look for the badge by their name. Learn more about the Michigan Saves home electrification program on their Residential Electrification webpage.
Electrification Video Series
Local IBEW electricians and NECA contractors are partnering with A2ZERO to support electrification in Ann Arbor and beyond. As part of this collaboration, IBEW and NECA are developing a series of videos on what is needed for electrification. Check out the first video - on checking your electrical panel for compatibility with electrification - below. And visit the Future is Electric webpage to learn and watch more!
About heat pumps (for heating/cooling, water heaters, and/or clothes dryers)
About induction cooking