Energy used for space heating, water heating, cooking and drying in residential and commercial buildings account for over a quarter of our climate emissions. Electric based technologies, such as heat pump space and water heaters and induction cook tops, have become far more efficient than similar natural gas appliances. The amount of renewable energy on the electric grid is steadily increasing.
Converting our appliances from natural gas to electric can be a potent tool to fight climate change. Plus electric homes eliminate significant sources of both indoor and outdoor pollutants.
Induction cookstoves are totally different from the traditional radiant electric stovetops of the past. They cook faster and safer than gas or traditional radiant electric with better control and easier cleanup while fighting climate change and improving indoor air quality. Try out induction cooking with an inexpensive portable tabletop model (or borrow one in some areas)
Induction Cooking factsheet: Introduction to the benefits of induction cooking, how it works, how to buy one, costs, rebates and tips for converting to induction cooking. (2 page pdf)
This Portable Induction Cooktop Is Magnetic - excellent article on induction cooking from bon appetit
Heat Pump Space Heating & Cooling
Heat pumps extract heat from the outside (usually from the air, although some extract it from the ground) and pump it into a building to provide heat. They reverse that cycle to provide air conditioning. See the Building Electrification FAQ for a more detailed explanation of the science of how a heat pump works.
Heat pumps are typically 3 to 4 times more efficient than the highest efficiency gas furnace or an electric baseboard system. See the HVAC Heat Pumps page for an explanation of the different types of systems and what kinds of installations each is designed for.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump water heaters are typically 2-1/2 to 4 times more efficient than gas or electric hot water heaters. See the Berkeley Electrification Working Group's Heat Pump Water Heater factsheet (PDF) for more information on how they work, installation, costs and other considerations.
See the Building Electrification FAQ for a more detailed explanation of the science of how a heat pump works.
Heat Pump Clothes Dryers
Heat pump dryers use the same technology described above to dry clothing. Using 25 to 70% less energy than conventional dryers. They work more slowly than conventional dryers but are gentler on clothes as well as easier on the climate. See the Berkeley Electrification Working Group's Heat Pump Dryer factsheet (PDF) for more information on how they work, installation, costs and other considerations.
Of course don't forget that the most energy efficient clothes dryer that makes your clothes smell the freshest and last the longest is the solar drying line. :-)
Solar Electricity & Storage
All this electrification is only as climate saving as the energy source. Many electric utilities are offering more wind and solar fed power options.
Perhaps the most efficient is solar on your home or business rooftop. Batteries are becoming more affordable and safer, allowing you to store the electricity you generate to save you money, help make the grid more stable, reliable and low carbon and to make your more resilient in the face of increasingly frequent grid failures. We'll be adding information on how to go solar here soon. In the meantime, California residents please consider the solar action below to help save rooftop solar from the utility profit grab.
Live in California and want to help save rooftop solar from the utilities? Learn how you can help today at our Save CA Rooftop Solar
Ready to explore switching from gas to electric? Save when you switch
Learn more about health reasons to get rid of gas.
Check out what the Studies say.
More about legislation you can support to help the conversion is coming here soon....