Home | Blog

Solar and Your All Electric Home

Last Updated June 8, 2024

Share The Knowledge:
Michael Jones

By Michael Jones

Michael literally wrote the book on solar (it’s called The Homeowners’ Guide to Going Solar) and has been a solar consultant for over four years.

Heat Pumps for an All Electric Home

One thing that sets the Cape Cod Solar Guys apart from the average solar rep is that, when we talk to a homeowner, the conversation is seldom just about going solar. To us, it’s important to frame the conversation in the larger context of your very likely future transition to an all electric home.

The fact is that in the next decade or so, you’re going to be strongly encouraged to electrify everything in your house – from your cars to your heating, your cooking and even your garden tools. Having a conversation about solar without taking that into consideration is rather like applying for college without giving any consideration to what you want to do when you graduate.

How much power is your future all electric home going to consume? What will be the cost of that electricity? Can rooftop solar meet your growing consumption? These are just some of the questions we ask and help to answer whenever we talk with a homeowner about solar.

Switching to an All Electric Home

The non-profit Rewiring America estimates that, in order to electrify every home in the US, we need to replace one billion fossil fuel-burning machines with all electric equivalents. While that may seem like an impossibly huge task, it actually works out at 7-8 machines for each of the 130 million or so homes in America.

In this article we’ll take you through the five steps to an all electric home.

The Promise

So the first thing to do if you want an all electric home is make a simple promise to yourself and your significant others that you’ll never buy a brand new fossil fuel-burning machine for your home. 

It’s amazing how making that one simple pledge clarifies everything in your own personal fight against climate change.

The List

Just like Santa Claus, you need to make a list (check it twice, if you like). List all the machines in your home that currently run on fossil fuels, along with each machine’s age, expected lifespan and estimated replacement cost.

Once you see how short this list is, you’ll find the whole idea of home electrification far less intimidating. 

Mine included just eight machines, three of which I’ve already replaced:

The House: A gas stove, a gas clothes dryer, and a gas furnace for both heat and hot water.

The Garden: A lawnmower, a chain saw, and a gas grill

The Garage or Driveway: Two gasoline-powered cars

You may also have a motorcycle, a snow blower, a leaf blower, a boat, etc.

The Replacement Plan

The reason I asked you to take note of the age, expected lifespan, and replacement cost of each item on your list is so that you won’t be caught off guard when an appliance that you knew was nearing the end of its life dies unexpectedly. It’ll also help you set priorities and give you time to figure out how you’ll pay for the more expensive items.

The worst time to replace any machine, especially an important one like a furnace or a water heater, is when it breaks. That will almost guarantee that it gets replaced with one just like it since people tend to choose the path of least resistance when faced with an emergency.

It’s far better to make a plan to replace that machine long before it breaks so you can shop around for the best and most cost-effective all electric replacement.

On the other hand, some items in your list will be relatively inexpensive to replace. My first one was the lawnmower. My old gas-powered one hadn’t even broken really. It just failed to start one spring and, rather than take it in for a tune-up as I had so many times before, I decided to buy an electric one. 

It was a quick easy win. Low-hanging fruit that felt like an important, if small, first step. 

Other factors besides replacement cost and appliance age may also play into your thinking.

A kitchen renovation might be the perfect time to get rid of that old gas stove in favor of an electric induction stove.

A kitchen renovation might be the perfect time to bring in an electric induction stove

And if incentives are available to soften the cost, a heat pump installation that was at the bottom of your priority list might suddenly jump to the top if those incentives are only available for a limited-time.

Going Solar

Of course, switching to an all electric home is only beneficial if the source of that electricity is renewable. 

And while Eversource is working frantically to get a higher percentage of renewable energy onto the grid over the next couple of decades, the average Cape Cod homeowner can get 100% of the way there (or even more) in a matter of weeks.

So you can not only meet your current electricity needs, but also be prepared for any future increases in demand as you make further conversions to an all electric home.

Final Thoughts on Switching to an All Electric Home

There are almost 130 million owner-occupied homes in the United States. If every one of them were to replace the same 8 machines that I have on my list, that would get us to that goal of 1 billion.

That’s our call to climate action. Congress has passed landmark climate legislation in the Inflation reduction act, and Massachusetts has a slew of additional incentives on offer. Now it’s time for homeowners like us to do our part.

If you would like chat about how solar fits in with your conversion to an all electric home, feel free to contact us for an informative, no pressure solar consultation

Share The Knowledge:

More From our Library

More From our Library