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Kicking Gas! Going All-Electric for the Health of Your Family and the Earth (Recorded Webinar: Available On Demand)

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Recorded Webinar: Kicking Gas! Going All-Electric for the Health of Your Family and the Earth
Recorded: June 30, 2021
Speaker: Ann V. Edminster, M.Arch. (See speaker introduction below)

This presentation covers the nuts and bolts of making the switch -- transitioning mixed-fuel homes to 100% electricity. Ann Edminster does a great job of walking through why we need to decarbonize and electrify, and what the key benefits are.  As many agree, she also reviews why we should focus on energy efficiency even before electrifying, and then do both!  She also provides plenty of examples to back up her arguments.  Ann also reviews specific equipment options that can be selected in place of the 4 major types of fossil-fuel burning home equipment. And finally, Ann presents a 7-step transition plan for home electrification.  Like many others, Ann does not assume you can electrify overnight.  But we can all make plans and get started!  

Learning objectives: After attending this presentation, you will be able to:

  • Explain the benefits of electrifying homes to clients, friends, and family
  • Understand how electrification supports resiliency goals
  • Differentiate between the two electric alternatives to each of the four typical residential gas appliances
  • Plan to create a customized home electrification roadmap

Here's a summary of some of the key information presented, but note that this webinar is full of great information and is worth a watch!  

First, know that when we talk about electrification, we're primarily discussing four major types of equipment:

  • Heating and Cooling
  • Water Heating
  • Cooking
  • Clothes Drying

When we fuel our homes with fossil fuels, we generate indoor pollutants that worsen or even cause respiratory and other ailments, and we generate greater emissions.  Switching to electric technologies and equipment reduces these health risks while saving energy and money - a win-win for people and planet.  Examples include heat pumps, electric water heaters, electric ranges, electric dryers, renewable energy, and even EVs (electric vehicles are generally considered a part of home electrification, even though a car isn't technically part of the home - we're of course reducing emissions when we switch away from gasoline, and the charging equipment is part of our home systems).  Evolving technology also means we can even increase our comfort and equipment precision/control as we make these healthier and more sustainable choices. 

What are the top benefits of going electric? In brief: 

  • Reduced indoor air pollution
    • Burning fossil fuels produces harrmful pollutants
  • Increased safety
    • Fewer kitchen safety fire and burn risks
    • Eliminate gas explosion risks
  • Improved equipment, performance, aesthetics
  • Reduction in GHGs
  • Meet pending changing rules and regulations
  • Avoid gas price increases (for example, CA rates are expected to double by 2050)

Ann's 7-step process for electrifying is practical and respects that we may all enter the electrification process at different points.  But generally speaking, planning ahead and focusing on energy demand and efficiency first, when possible, are critical concepts.  Once we have maximized energy efficiency and have optimized our demand, we can better size and select proper HVAC and other systems.  As part of planning ahead, it's critical to know when major equipment is expected to fail, so you can plan replacement and not get caught with whatever is available in an emergency.  Major appliance decisions are not made all that often, so each decision can have a lasting impact! 

We agree with Ann that the path will not necessarily or even likely be the same for everyone.  But some of these points likely apply for everyone!  Please feel welcome to add your thoughts, and ask your questions about electrification and about energy efficiency or air quality! 


About the Speaker: 

Ann V. Edminster, M.Arch.
Design AVEnues LLC

Ann Edminster, M.Arch., is an international expert on sustainable homes and communities. Her award-winning book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, is a comprehensive guide to zero-energy, zero-emissions design. Edminster has served in leadership and subject matter expert roles for the US-Canada-Mexico Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Sierra Club, Climate Reality Project, US Department of Energy, US Green Building Council, Canada Green Building Council, American Institute of Architects, and numerous other organizations at the forefront of building decarbonization. She works with stakeholders throughout the building ecosystem to facilitate the creation of people- and planet-friendly building solutions at all scales.

About EEBA:

EEBA contributes to advancing leading edge building science knowledge and sustainable business practices in the residential construction community through education, sharing and collaboration. 


Home Electrification by Ann Edminster




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