Electrification - what is it, and what does solar have to do with it? When we talk about the value proposition of residential solar, one of the core elements is the ability to control your electricity costs. With market volatility and price hikes pushing rates higher than they’ve ever been, your solar system allows you the freedom of independent energy generation. From the moment you install your system, your payments are reduced to a fixed level, and once your system is fully paid off, you get to enjoy those increased savings for years and years.
But electricity is only part of that monthly utility cost - on the other side of the bill, gas prices continue to rise alongside electricity. While solar can directly alleviate the pain point of high electricity prices, rising gas prices are another issue entirely. At first glance, it may not seem possible for solar to help with the rising cost of gas - but modern technology has opened a path for solar to be the solution for both your gas and your electric bills. This is where electrification comes in.
Electrification is the process of converting appliances in your home from older, gas-powered models into modern electrical models. Many of these electric appliances are designed with conservation in mind, meaning that you will not only be reducing your dependence on gas, but also reducing your overall power consumption.
The cost of electrification depends largely on the products you buy and the incentives you take advantage of. That being said, we can roughly estimate that the cost of electrification will be around $10,000. The following table breaks down that price point with some common electrified appliances and the cost associated with them. With top end appliances, you could easily exceed this baseline.
|Battery Storage||6000 - 19,000|
|Ductless Heat Pumps||500 - 10,000|
|Electric Vehicle Charging||400 - 2,000|
|Electric Panel Upgrades||1,300 - 3,000|
|Heat Pump Water Heaters||700 - 3,000|
|Heat Pump Clothes Dryers||900 - 1,700|
|Induction Cooktops||400 - 2,000|
|Smart Home Controls||175 - 1,500|
Keep in mind, this cost estimate is based on the price of appliances before any rebates or incentives are applied. As you apply the federal and state incentives, the cost begins to come down dramatically.
As we’ve previously discussed in our Smart Home article, switching your appliances to more efficient electric models is one way to take control of your energy usage. This consideration has always been a good idea, but with the rising cost of gas, it’s now an even more important factor in reigning in your utility bills. Bringing as many of your appliances as possible under one energy umbrella means that you can more fully control the cost of powering your home - if it’s electric, it’s covered by your solar system!
Electrification is so powerful because it allows you to take advantage of the energy independence of solar, even when the appliances in question were one considered gas only appliances. As more and more efficient electric appliances become available, you can reduce your dependence on gas, improve on your overall energy consumption, and save big with solar. It just makes sense to extend the efficacy of your solar system to cover the appliances you use in your home, and it’s a great way to double dip on energy savings!
Now, when it comes to performing the upgrades required to shift your appliance base from gas to electric, cost is the first hurdle that comes to mind. Indeed, electrification, like solar, is an investment in the future, which is supported by the savings you will achieve over time. However, just like solar is further supported by federal and state incentives, so too is electrification! There are multiple federal and state programs dedicated to helping homeowners on their electrification journey.
At the federal level, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act has been a huge selling point for solar, representing a 30% tax credit for solar investments. The tax credit is just one piece of the larger bill though, and there are many additional incentives available for those who are looking to begin the electrification process. We’ve previously discussed many of the additional savings programs and tax credits featured in the Inflation Reduction Act, but let’s break down some of the specific electrification incentives from the bill.
According to the California Energy Commission, there are large savings opportunities for electrification, depending on the size of your residence, the income of your family, and the energy savings of your new appliances.
As you can see, it pays to invest in clean energy. The federal government has passed a bill to facilitate your transition to electrified appliances, and now is an excellent time to take full advantage of those incentives.
At the state level, California is prepared to assist you with your electrification efforts through affordable private market financing options! Through the GoGreen Home Energy Financing program, you can invest in the value of your home through electrification, and enjoy the energy savings as soon as possible.
Electrification and solar pair together perfectly as a two pronged approach to dealing with rising energy prices. On the electrification side, you’re reducing your dependence on gas while increasing your overall energy efficiency, both of which will save you money immediately. On the solar side, you’re generating clean, renewable energy on site to cover your electricity costs, which also saves you money. Both investments represent a significant increase in the value of your home, and both investments are supported by federal and state incentive programs!
As market instability drives up the cost of power, materials, and appliances, the process of electrification is in a similar position to the process of going solar - there will never be a better time to get started! Accounting for inflation, we could see a considerable increase in the price tag associated with the upgrades discussed in this article between this year and next year. There has been no indication that this trend won’t continue for the foreseeable future, so investing now will save you money in the long run.
Beyond inflation concerns, there’s also seasonality to consider. Depending on the time of year, you could be setting yourself up for success by undertaking your solar and electrification projects now. According to the EIA, energy prices are usually highest in the summer, and you’ll want to be set up and ready to generate and efficiently utilize your clean energy. Winter heating costs are no joke either, and efficient appliances can really shine when operating in reduced temperatures.
Ultimately, you can support your electrification efforts by investing in a solar system, and vice versa. An important component of this process is ensuring that your solar system is appropriately sized to cover the usage of your energy efficient appliances, so it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a solar consultant to ensure your system produces the power you need to save big with electrification!