If you haven’t heard, there are significant changes regarding home electric use on the horizon for Denver, Colorado, and the rest of the United States. The transformation has already begun in Colorado and other parts of the country, and although it will greatly impact our planet, we will hardly notice any changes in our daily lives, except for the benefit of lower bills and faster acceleration in our cars. The changes we are talking about are the steps toward electrifying our homes and daily lives in order to move away from fossil fuel usage.
In an effort to cut down on emissions, Colorado has been pushing new building codes and regulations for further homes to be more emission-free. This means that homes will be opting for electrical replacements of their fossil-fueled counterparts. Common everyday items such as combustion vehicles, gas furnaces, boilers, water heaters, fireplaces, dryers, and stoves – all will be recommended to be changed out for more sustainable options. Residents will be asked to consider fully electric vehicles (EVs), air-source heat pumps, electric water heaters, and electric stovetops.
Electrifying your home is a step towards eco-friendly living
Colorado and the state’s major electric utilities have committed to dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels in favor of solar, wind, hydropower, and battery storage. By 2030, Xcel Energy plans to be using 80 percent renewable energy, and Holy Cross Energy, a smaller utility on the Western Slope, has pledged to produce 100 percent clean energy by the same year. This kind of rapid drawdown on climate-warming fossil fuels is exactly what experts say is necessary to mitigate the climate crisis.
Start slow but start now
To ensure that electrification is truly advantageous, we need to start replacing our fossil fuel-dependent machines with electric ones. Fortunately, the transition doesn’t have to be excessively costly or complicated. While major purchases such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and heat pumps do require a significant initial investment, the long-term savings in energy costs more than makeup for it.
Additionally, there are many incentives available from the federal government, local utilities, and other entities to help people afford the switch. The most notable of these are last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, which provides substantial tax breaks for upgrading to electric devices starting this year. Even more, Denver is offering home electrification rebates led by the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. Denver residents can also pair those rebates with Xcel Energy’s electrification incentives to maximize savings in converting their homes and appliances.
Where to start electrifying your home?
Obrien Electrical Contractors supports those who seek eco-friendly energy sources but wants to make sure it is known that some homes are not built to handle those changes. Because of that, contacting Orbien Electrical for an electrical service upgrade is most likely the first step toward electrifying a home. Some homes are older than others or just were not built with the focus of handling numerous electrical inputs and outputs. An outdated electrical service panel or home electrical wiring will not be able to handle the additional load of numerous electrical items. Adding an electric stove top, electrical heat pump, solar panels, Electrical Vehicle, and more all at one will short breakers and even cause harm to a home’s electrical wiring. Obrien Electrical Contractors are available to consult with clients to gauge their electrical needs and demands for the future, so they are able to install the correct equipment for a more sustainable home.
Electrical Service Panel Upgrade
When electrifying a home for the future, the electrical demand on the property is going drastically increase. While this is cutting out on the usage of natural gas and other energy sources, one’s home will need to be prepared. Newly built homes have a higher chance of being outfitted with the necessary wiring and electric service panel. But for many older homes, an upgrade to their electrical service panel is needed. Without doing so, a home will not be able to use many of the recommended electrifying updates to cut out greenhouse gas emissions.
Electrical Vehicle Charger
Did you know that Denver requires all homes to be ready for Electrical Vehicle Charger? Since 2016, the City and County of Denver have rolled out initiatives and discussions to become “EV-Ready”. That has translated into newer construction of residential homes to have updated electrical systems that can supply service for a 240v outlet. Unfortunately, there are a lot of older homes that are not fitted for such electrical demand. A 240v outlet is a step above a standard builder-grade electrical service outlet in a given garage. In order to house an EV Charger in your home, you will need an electrician to upgrade your electrical service panel AND also install a 240-volt outlet. So if you are planning on getting an electric vehicle, it should be a simple process of contacting your electrician and scheduling a one-day appointment.
Electric Heat Pump
Why should a home install a heat pump? For the goal of cutting down on emissions and the use of natural gas, a standard furnace is no longer the ideal appliance for heating a home. Instead, switching over to a heat pump is recommended as it can operate with electricity. If one needs to replace their current furnace or baseboard heated or central A/C – it might be a good idea to explore installing a heat pump. A heat pump is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by minimally 55% when installed in a home. Surprisingly, only 3% of Colorado homes have an air-source heat pump installed at the moment.
While an electrician is not the ideal contractor to handle a heat pump install, a homeowner will find the benefit in reaching out to confirm their current electrical service is able to facilitate a heat pump. Obrien Electrical Contractors is able to provide quotes for upgrading electrical systems and wiring throughout a home.
Are you interested in Electrifying your home?
If you are interested in electrifying your home, reach out to Obrien Electrical Contractors to give you a thorough consultation. Our company has been providing Denver, Aurora, Littleton, and more with experienced and quality electrical services.