Can Saving Energy Save You Money?
There are good reasons to update a home’s electrical, including the possibility of saving money and being more environmentally friendly with your energy usage.
With more incentives than ever before to hire a professional to consult with about the best choices for your home—and budget—to find out what changes you can make at home for a greener electrical footprint, now might be the time for those upgrades.
The Inflation Reduction Act is one way that you can possibly offset costs of investing in upgrades to stoves, water heaters, electrical panels, and more. You can also look at long-term savings of using less energy to make a switch in appliances or other changes pay for themselves in the long run.
Have Your Heard of HEEHRA?
Before there was the Inflaction Reduction Act, there was another legislative effort called the Zero Emissions Home Act that then became the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act, which ultimately got bundled into the IRA. The possible rebates will be rolled out at the state level so each homeowner will need to check with their local officials on these plans. This plan is for low to moderate income households only.
HEEHRA is important to mention because some electrical upgrades will need to start at the root of the system itself for those in older homes and even neighborhoods that were designed to run on gas forever so the electrical system may not be able to handle some of the newer options. This overall plan is to reduce emissions in homes saving homeowners money with their monthly bills and also decreasing some of the elements that contribute to global warming.
The Power of New Electrical Panels
An electrical panel is where the external wires the come to your house/property interface with the internal wiring. It’s estimated that upgrading an older electrical panel can potentially save a homeowner up to 30% on monthly electrical use as the power coming in with be channeled more appropriately.
Pop quiz! How old is your electrical panel? Do you have a subpanel? Does your home experience flickering lights frequently? If you answered, “No idea! What’s a subpanel? And yes, is that a problem?,” then chances are that you are in need of a new electrical panel.
Whether or not you qualify for some kind of rebate from the state to do upgrades, you could benefit in the long run from making the investment today. A Mister Sparky electrician can come to your home and inspect the electrical panel, then explain what solutions are available.
Energy and Electric Stoves
When it comes to selecting a stove for your home kitchen, you usually have two choices: gas or electric. Putting aside home chef culinary preferences, studies have found that 74% of the energy used for cooking on an electric stovetop is transferred to the food, compared to 40% on a gas range. The ultimate winner though is an induction stove with 90% of the energy transferred to the food.
Another factor to consider is that electric stoves have proven to be safer than gas stoves simply because there are not flames that could be caught by an errant dish towel, paper towel, or even hand. Of course, an electric stove is not 100% safe as there is still a hot surface that needs to cool properly and there might be the risk of a burn, but generally the eletric stovetop tends to be safer.
A gas stove may also have the risk of a carbon monoxide leak since there is a gas line involved. Learn more about how Mister Sparky can provide smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation.
See if there is a rebate available from the government for switching to an electric stove through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Charging Up Your Electrical Vehicle
Riding a bicycle, walking, or taking the bus would be more energy efficient than driving any car, but driving an electric car can also have environmental benefits. The trick, however, is that not all gas stations are equipped as charging stations and it’s more convenient to just charge your car at home. Mister Sparky electricians can install a charger in the garage so you have this built-in convenience.
All EVs and hybrids come with a standard Level 1 or 110-volt compatible charging kit, and this is typically sufficient for hybrids or those who don’t drive more than 40 or 50 miles in a day. The Level 2, or 240-volt receptacle can provide more of a charge quickly and be handy for those driving a greater distance each day.
Some states are offering tax credits on electric car purchases, so that’s one savings. There is also the federal tax credit for Electric Vehicle (EV) charger installation, called the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit that doesn’t expire until 2032.
Installing an EV charger might require upgrading the electrical panel first, so for those who qualify, this can have a savings, or at least lower cost opportunity.
As consumers look to lower the emissions they produce with every day activities, these changes in the home can have meaningful long-term impacts. In addition to upgrading the electrical panel, switching out the gas stove, and even driving a different type of car, look around at your washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, and see if there is a cost-effective way to replace these items to reduce energy use and to save money.