One of the biggest contributors to climate change is your home. But you can turn it into a weapon to fight climate change and it’s not difficult.
The opportunity to learn about electrifying your home sees the light of day on the screens of your smart phone, laptop or desktop thanks to a battery or outlet that delivers electricity. From vacuuming or making a video to leaving voicemails and voting, almost every element of modern life happens through the supply of electric current. Climate change ignites the need to know how this critical current ‘gets made’. In addition, climate change has also illuminates the urgency of choosing energy production that is safe for people and the environment. This choice starts by making personal changes to address climate change through electrifying your home.
But first, just what is electricity? It's a natural existing phenomenon and takes on all kinds of forms. Lightning in the sky is electricity and so is a synapse transferring information from one cell to another. Electricity wasn’t invented – but it was realized. Archaeologists and historians believe ancient Greeks first made this realization around 600 BC when they rubbed fur on amber triggering static electricity.
Often mistaken as the inventor of electricity, Ben Franklin with his kite and key experiment in 1752 didn’t discover electricity, but it did prove that lightning was made up of electric particles.80 years after Franklin's kite experiment, Michael Faraday, a British physicist and chemist applied the circular magnetic force theory to create the power generator that led to his invention of the electric motor. Faraday’s breakthrough set the stage for American Thomas Edison and British Scientist Joseph Swan’s development of the first incandescent filament light bulbs in 1878. This bulb revolutionized life and let humans be active at night without relying on smoky beeswax candles and expensive lamps lit by whale oil. Just four years later, in Appleton, Wisconsin, the home of mill-owner Henry Rogers was the first American home to be powered by hydroelectricity.
With this electrifying history lesson in hand, let’s illuminate the benefits of electrifying your home.
So, what does it mean to electrify your home? This is the process of converting all natural-gas-powered technologies to electricity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With energy consumption expanding around the world and climate change a fact of life, taking action on the home front is both smart and right. The positive outcomes of the electrifiy your home movement are to benefit the environment and reduce global warming emissions, save consumers money over time — especially low-income consumers, improve public health, safety, and quality of life and to foster a more resilient electricity production grid.
Armed with this knowledge, what are some steps you can take to electify your home? First, think of a home as a potential clean power plant and install solar on the roof or identify a local renewable energy company that may offer costs that are lower than fossil-fuel utilities. Second power your home with batteries. Instead of investing in a dirty-backup generator in anticipation of power shortages, clean batteries can deliver energy for seven days after the power goes out. Third, replace an old furnace or boiler with a cleaner option. Only 60% of an old furnace’s fuel turns into heat. A new heat pump that can both heat and cool can be five times more efficient. When it’s hot it works as an air conditioner, when cold, it works as a heater. Because heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat instead of burning fossil fuels, your heating bills can be reduced by 50%.
Fourth, electrify everyday appliances. Change out the old gas grill for an electric one as they’re smaller and heat faster. Replace a gas dryer that relies on fossil fuels with a cleaner electric dryer. Switch out a gas stove with an electric stovetop or a super-efficient induction stove powered by magnets. Finally, call a home energy expert. They can find ways to lower utility bills in just thirty minutes and energy auditors inspect homes to show you where energy is lost throughout your home. Eliminate this loss is good economically and environmentally.
As you can see electrifying your home offers easy-to-live-with benefits while also benefitting our precious planet, the only place we all call home.