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"Going Green" is cool again?

Matt Hoots GA, United States 4 Ratings 13 Discussions 7 Group posts

Posted by: Matt Hoots // SawHorse Design + Build

Observations at the 2023 International Builder's Show.

I noticed a new theme at the International Builder's Show this year.  All exhibitors made a point to tell me about their innovations related to climate change and politics.   I even saw some booths themed with all-green building facts and figures.

This is not typical.  While most have had some green message off to the side, I have not seen so many make it dominant the theme of their booth. Especially when they don't have to, builders are business right now, and suppliers still can barely keep up.

Getting ahead of the curve before it becomes mandatory

I interviewed several appliance manufacturers, and one brand- ZLINE- has significantly shifted toward high-performance green buildings.  When I saw them in 2020, they had many luxury-grade vent hoods, which are good for indoor air quality. However, they had limited cooking options since most ranges were gas.

In 2021, they started offering induction cooktops.  This is a good sign.  Manufacturers that can forecast what products may be in high demand in the future are the ones that will survive long term.  Gas appliances are not going away anytime soon; however, consumers who want more options now have them with the brands they enjoy.


I saw a few brands that did not have electric or induction at the show.  The majority did have multiple fuel types or were shifting away from gas.

It's all about the bottom line.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Weedfald,   Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing SHARP Home Appliances, while I was there.  He mentioned to me when comparing radiant versus induction, “the two prices are collapsing [together] very quickly.”  This means that if both are at the same price point, the obvious choice will be induction.

Adapt or be left behind- a vision for the future.

It is good that these companies see what is in store for the future and attempt to adapt to this market.  I even saw Rheem offer a plug-in heat pump water heater that used less power than their standard hybrid version.  


The big hurdle that I see is that houses and the grid are not ready for all of this change.  If you want to go all-electric and your house's electrical service is based on gas and electric appliances, you may not have enough room in your panel.

I don’t see this as an issue for HVAC because, in hot climates like Atlanta, GA where I am from, we already have power for the AC side.  Converting to a more efficient all-electric mini-split should not be an issue since we already have space in the panel for the AC.  Converting to electric water heating and cooking could be an issue is the service was based on gas for those items.

Perception versus reality- we have a lot to overcome

Most people still prefer gas because they believe it is the best option.  Once presented with facts about induction, some change their mind despite decades of branding and programming that gas is better.  Even with overwhelming evidence, only about 5% of homes use induction, according to Peter Weedfald with Sharp.  I guess the number will rise once people understand the health risks of gas and the benefits of induction cooking.

The same goes for mini-splits heat pumps.  Heat pumps used to be inferior to gas, and gas was the better option because heat pumps relied heavily on backup heat in extremely cold temperatures.  Now, these systems are good down to negative fourteen degrees Fahrenheit.  At a recent tour of Mitsubishi, they mentioned that only 14% of the market knew that mini-splits were an option and understood how they worked.


If electrification is the collective solution, more education, and conversations are needed to help explain these technologies.  They outperform gas, so it is an easy conversation with the correct information.  



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