Learn About Electrification

Introduction

Roughly a quarter of California total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from buildings, such as our very own homes. Eliminating the burning of fossil fuels in the home is a great way for many of you to combat climate change! Now, let's talk about home electrification. Home electrification is the replacement of gas appliances (i.e. furnaces, water heaters, dryers, stoves) with all-electric heat pump and induction technology. As SMUD moves towards 100% renewables, the carbon footprint of your house shrinks. Every 5 to 6 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) you save is like taking a car off the road for a year.

There are also health benefits and cost savings associated with the switch. This study shows children living in a home with a gas cooking stove have a 42% increased risk of current asthma and a 24% increased lifetime risk of asthma. And preliminary work done for the City of Sacramento showed 100% of homes that switch to newer all-electric appliances can anticipate annual bill savings.

If you are planning a remodel, adding solar panels, getting an electric car, or considering a new water heater or stove/oven, make a plan to electrify. Check your electrical panel to make sure it can support any new electrical appliances. Make a plan to do upgrades sooner so you don't have to panic once your existing appliances fail later. To include an electric vehicle and clothes dryer, you may need capacity for five 240-volt connections, but there are new water heaters, cooktops, and circuit splitters that can make that easier.

Explore Electric Resources

Imagine how reduced our carbon footprint would be if all the homes in Sacramento were electrified! The dream becomes more real every day, especially with SMUD committing to being all-renewable by 2030. So let's get started! Explore the resources below by clicking each tab.

 

The Policy

With input from 350 Sacramento's Electrification Team, the City of Sacramento has begun the process of building electrification with a new building electrification ordinance and an existing building electrification strategy.

Sierra Club San Francisco Bay has a great overview of the importance of electrification, which includes a list of all the cities and counties in California that have passed building electrification ordinances, as well as a beautiful three-part illustrated series on the importance of electrification in residential buildings!

The White House Guide to the Inflation Reduction Act, which has a lot of policy and funding that directly supports building electrification.

 

Complete Guides for Home Conversion

From Local to Federal there are sites that will help you navigate the switch. The City of Sacramento and SMUD have partnered with Xerohome to allow city residents to claim their home, enter the equipment they have, and get suggestions for energy upgrades.


The Switch is On! An online introduction to building electrification and resources for making the switch.


At the Federal level, Rewiring America provides two helpful resources:

  1. The Electrify Everything guide
  2. The Inflation Reduction Act Calculator which allows you to enter home and income information and see what rebates and incentives you may qualify for.

Pocket Guide to Complete Single-Family Home Electrification: Redwood Energy and Menlo Spark put together a 2021 guide for everything from small-budget cooktops and portable heat pumps to HVAC installations and panel organization.


New tools and tech to prepare your electrical panel for an all-electric home: Part 1 | Part 2


The experience of one family's electrification project:

 

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Tip: Heat pump water heaters provide the biggest bang for your buck, as you can expect a reduction of roughly 11 to 15 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions over their life cycles.


Check out our page on de-carbonizing your home with heat pump water heaters!


SMUD's short video on what heat pump water heaters are:

 

 

HVAC Heat Pumps

Tip: Heat pumps for HVAC are another heavy hitter for CO2 emissions, as they can reduce roughly 19 metric tonnes of CO2 over their life cycles.


Watch this Bay Area virtual home tour of different heat-pump HVAC retrofits. This includes examples of both mini-splits and central systems.


SMUD’s video on details about heat pumps for HVAC, including why some heat pumps are more efficient than others: Webinar Recording: Most Popular Heating & Cooling Questions


350 Sacramento’s chart (with more links!) for how to compare bids for a heat pump HVAC installation. These are considerations to balance up front cost with running cost (including repairs) and replacement cycle. For the downloadable version, click here.

 

Induction Cooking

Wok cooking with induction, discussion of how to take advantages of different metals and temperature control for steaming, stir frying, and frying.

 


Watch Chef Dave Nelson put induction technology to the test as he demonstrates some quick recipes and offers general cooking tips.


Samantha Bee's Full Frontal had a hilarious segment in June 2021 about gas and induction stoves, check it out!

 

SMUD Rebates

Check out the Home Performance Program which has information on rebates available to go electric for HVAC, water heating, efficiency upgrades, and panel capacity building.


The Home Rebates Page has rebates for replacing gas with induction stove, recycling information, and rebates for smart thermostats, lightbulb conversion, power-saving power strips, and even water conservation.

 

Contractor Experiences

Here is a list of Clean Energy Contractors in California created by a third party.


Here is a spreadsheet of crowdsourced experiences from 350 Sacramento volunteers and contractors they've used (downloadable version here):