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While reading about "the house", please keep in mind that millions of Americans do not own their residence, and that single family homes in sprawling suburbs produce much more pollution than dense urban housing

And that too many people can't afford to own or rent.


If you're getting renewable electricity from your roof, or from a CCA program, or both, why not "electrify" the house?

That means replacing methane-gas-powered stoves, ovens, water-heaters, furnaces, clothes dryers, etc. with electric ones...although a wind-powered/solar clothesline, plus the clothespins, would also be an excellent choice.

An electric tankless WATER HEATER takes up much less room than a traditional hot water tank (see photo), plus "tankless water heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset its higher purchase price."

Even better, electric HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS (HPWH) use less electricity than tankless ones.  Unfortunately, we didn't have room for one at our house.  If your place has more space than ours, please review the benefits of a HPWH!  For info on prices, discounts, etc. visit the tax breaks/rebates page.

And don't wait for your current water heater to break down!  You may be coerced into getting a gas replacement since that might be quickest way to get the hot water turned on again.




  By "using natural [methane] gas to heat our homes and water, and to cook our food...we are 

            exposing our children to harmful nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide."

For electric COOKINGinduction ranges and cooktops are becoming more popular (see photo).


Because of electro-magnetic heating, these stovetops require magnetic pots and pans, not aluminium ones. 

Touch a magnet to the pan to test it.


While single or double-burner induction-style cooktops go for $200+, larger models are available for up to $2,000: pros-and-cons

Warning:  please see Solution #7 regarding heat pumps, refrigerators, air-conditioners, and freezers.  Refrigerant chemicals do excessive damage if not properly disposed of when the unit is being retired.

heat pump

Regarding the household HEATING, VENTILATION AND COOLING (HVAC) system: when our gas furnace met its demise, we looked at an air source electric

heat pump (not the same as a hot water heat pump).  See costs & tax credit information.

Trane, one company that makes (HVAC) heat pumps, has a good introductory explanation of its product, and notes: "greenhouse gas savings come from eliminating on-site combustion of natural [methane] gas". 

To be clear, a whole-house heat pump works

both as an air conditioner

and as a heating system 

by using a similar mechanism to what's in a refrigerator - for the AC - and by using a reverse refrigerator process - to generate heat.

More than one contractor told us of ways to supplement the (HVAC) air-source heat pump when it's extra cold outside.  This has worked out well, and the AC component has also performed as advertised.  But we live in California, not Minnesota or Manitoba.  Ground source heat-pumps are used there - attached to components under the ground.  In between those extremes, people can use "cold-climate" (or a "low ambient") heat pumps.

For help finding a local (USA) contractor, go here.  You can look for California contractors, and FAQ's, at The Switch Is On

Answers to all types of “electric house” questions are in this extensive guide from Redwood Energy: A Pocket Guide to All-Electric Retrofits of Single-Family Homes.

For a less extensive introduction visit the Green Building Advisor.

                         With the old (gas) appliances, you might get more money

                             if you sell the thing yourself:  sell-used-appliances

     Of course, for no money back, recycling is a better option:  how-to-recycle-large-appliances


After INSULATION "analysis" you may want​ to: increase amounts of insulation, and add caulking around windows & doors.


You can insulate using DIY advice sites:  simple - insulate-home-cheap, 

or more ambitious - thisoldhouse


To get ideas about house energy assessments go to:  Home Energy Efficiency

There's also a $150 federal tax credit for these home "audits".



During certain times of day (TIME OF USE) the electrical grid is dirtier.  "Peaker" plants only go online when there's extra demand, and the peakers pollute much more than your usual source of electricity. 

In Arizona, Hawaii, and other places with plenty of sunshine, the middle of a (summer sunny) day is when you get the cleanest mix.  Weekday evenings are the worst time - "Power Down 4 to 9" (M - F), and schedule maximum electricity use from 10 - 2.


Other states have more wind, nuclear, or hydro-power.  Contact your local utility to find out the best time for discretionary electricity usage.




Because of the solar panel installation or the new electrical items, you may need to get a fuse box upgrade

(expansion of the main circuit breaker)

to have your home wired for 220/240v.  

It’ll entail hiring an electrician, which isn't inexpensive, and getting your utility to agree, which may go smoothly.  But with persistence, you should end up with a 21st century household electrical system - including code inspection -  which'll be better for wifi, family safety, real estate value, etc. 


Finally, kind-of green/clean electricity is available - in many locations - for a similar price as you pay now. 

To get this, sign up for a COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION (CCA) program.

It's a good thing, but, unlike with your own roof-top solar system, your house won't receive all of its electricity from non-polluting sources.  


This means the composition of the electricity coming into your home area will be a tiny bit better.  The electricity produced by the renewable source will become part of multi-sourced electricity sent through the power-line

(grid) transmission system.  

The current mix of electricity generated in the USA is approximately: 1/4 from coal, 1/3 from methane gas, 1/5 from nuclear, 1/10 from solar and wind, and 7.5% from hydro.  When you sign up with a CCA, it's like voting for renewable sources.  Also like voting, you'll make a bigger difference if you encourage your neighbors to sign up also!


Not all localities have CCA programs, so do a search.​  To find a CCA in California, go to: cca-impact, and scroll down to your region.  For other states visit: cca-by-state, and then scroll down to your state.  If everyone were to do this, all electricity would be from green/clean sources, so please tell whomever you know. 


To better understand CCAs (Community Choice Aggregations) see:

"CCAs have set a number of national green power and climate protection records while reducing power bills.

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