Letter to Editor – Louise Shawkat, June 8, 2021, Ashland Daily Tidings
Flick the switch
Electrifying one’s home is not just flicking a switch. Why electrify in the first place?
If new construction includes fossil fuel systems no one will achieve the climate goal: reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Rocky Mountain Institute conducted a study analyzing new all-electric single-family homes: these homes are less expensive than a similar model that uses gas for utilities. You can read the study results at https://rmi.org/all-electric-new-homes-a-win-for-the-climate-and-the-economy/.
What about the old home? Conversion is not easy. One needs a plan. Concentrate on the low-hanging fruit: use LED lighting, seal/replace windows, seal doors and ductwork, replace old insulation, install a setback thermostat. (Setback-ability to adjust the temperature while sleeping or away from home.) Invest in solar; either roof top or connect with a solar coop. Is it better to replace a functioning gas appliance or wait until it wears out? Depends upon your budget and environmental guilt! For heating/air conditioning purchase a conventional ducted system or mini splits.
Finding the right contractor for this conversion is important. How many contractors are up-to date on this electrical world we are trying to create?
What local and national incentives are available for conversion? Calculate your long-term savings. Flick the switch!
Louise D. Shawkat