Bringing Clean Energy Home

Lessons learned from electrifying 100 homes and how you can make the transition

In our recent webinar, experts and homeowners talked about the process of transitioning homes to all electric. Watch clips and read some of the practical tips and advice they shared about how to electrify your home.

Evening sunset house lights
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There are cheaper and healthier alternatives to burning gas in our homes. We do not need to continue using fossil fuels when we have the technology to transition to all-electric, clean energy buildings. But what does transitioning to all-electric mean in your home?

We hosted a webinar with Elevate, a non-profit that seeks to ensure that everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes, on the lessons learned from over 100 electrified homes and how individuals can make the switch. We were joined by Angela Tovar, Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer, to discuss Chicago’s decarbonization work and Katanya Raby, a homeowner who underwent electrification, to share her personal experience and perspective.

Watch the full webinar here.

What is electrification?

Electrification is the process of retrofitting buildings to stop burning fossil fuels. It begins with improving the energy efficiency of your home like sealing door and window leaks and improving insulation. Fossil fuel burning appliances are then replaced with efficient electric alternatives. You do not have to undergo complete electrification to improve energy efficiency and lower your heating and cooling costs.

All about electric appliances

Lessons from 100 electrified homes

Elevate partnered with ComEd’s Whole Home Electrification Pilot and the Chicago Bungalow Association to electrify 166 single and multi family units in Illinois. Through these projects, Elevate learned that weatherizing your home is essential. It ensures that your home is as energy efficient as possible so you are not wasting energy. The specific upgrades you will need to transition to all-electric are going to be unique to your home, and therefore, it is important to work with contractors who have experience transitioning from gas to electric.

Hear from a homeowner

“This is my second winter [after electrifying] and it works really well, we’re very comfortable. It doesn’t feel any different from having gas heat…My induction stove is a beautiful stove, I love it. Overall, I’m very happy with the transition.”

How you can make the transition

The first step in the electrification process is weatherizing and insulating your home to make it the most energy efficient as possible. Improving the efficiency of your home will help you save on utility bills even before you switch appliances. The transition to all-electric does not need to occur all at once. It may make sense to simply replace your gas appliances with electric as each appliance reaches the end of its life.

Elevate recommends finding an HVAC contractor with experience installing heat pump systems. Many contractors will give you a free estimate on a custom HVAC system. You can search for contractors with your zip code and get estimates from more than one to find the best fit for you and your home. ComEd also provides information on finding heat pump installers and has resources for home heating and cooling discounts. If you’re interested in electric heat pumps and domestic hot water heater products, you can also search for vendors with your zip code

Resources

To learn more about electrification and available incentives, see:

Topics
Authors

Jordan Hamrick

Utility Watchdog Campaigner, Illinois PIRG

Jordan works as a campaigner and organizer for Illinois utility campaigns, focusing on consumer protections and transitioning Chicago towards clean, renewable energy. Jordan lives in Chicago, where she enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.

Emily Kowalski

Outreach & Engagement Manager, Environment Illinois

Emily manages the marketing and public engagement strategy for Environment Illinois's campaigns, including our campaign to protect the Great Lakes from plastic pollution. Emily lives in Chicago where she enjoys knitting and biking.

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