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Natural gas to electricity how to make the switch at home

Electrification: How to Remove Natural Gas From Your Home

By Rise
Jun 30, 2022

Electrification is the process of converting all of a home's heating, cooling, and appliances to electricity. Often this means removing natural gas from the house. Using natural gas in our homes harms our family's health and generates harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading if your home uses any type of gas or you're thinking about turning off the taps.

Table of Contents

  1. What are the health risks of using natural gas at home?
  2. How does burning natural gas affect the environment?
  3. Can you really remove natural gas from a house completely?
  4. What does electrification mean?
  5. Is natural gas cheaper than electricity?
  6. What are the advantages of an all-electric home?
  7. Energy Efficient Appliances and Devices
  8. Taking Advantage of Renewable Energies,The Possibility of Moving Toward Net-Zero Emissions

What are the health risks of using natural gas at home?

There is extensive evidence that using natural gas in our homes is dangerous for our family’s health and the health of our planet. A 2018 study found that indoor cooking with gas ranges produced nitrogen oxide levels exceeding federal standards, and these levels lingered for hours. Another meta-analysis found that homes that cook with natural gas saw a 42% increased risk of having children with asthma. Gas furnaces are also a little suspect, as air quality monitors have found nitrogen oxide leaking into homes through air vents.

The same goes for gas lines in any home, especially in earthquake-prone areas. Gas leaks are all too common to ignore. 

A natural gas meter
A natural gas meter

How does burning natural gas affect the environment?

A 2022 study found that gas ranges release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, even when they’re turned off. Natural gas is a non-renewable fuel that is energy-intensive to extract and will only worsen as these deposits become more scarce. Natural gas emits 117lbs of CO2 per BTU of energy produced, which is much better than coal but far from carbon neutral. If we have a goal to achieve zero carbon status, whether that’s your home or the whole world, we can’t do it while burning natural gas.

Removing a natural gas line
Removing a natural gas line

Can you really remove natural gas from a house completely?

Yes, you can fully remove natural gas from your house. Electricity can power all of your appliances, generate heat, and even power your car.

This may surprise homeowners from Texas, California, and Florida, where natural gas is everywhere. But all-electric homes are widespread in many places worldwide, including this home on the East Coast of Canada.

What does electrification mean?

Electrification means that all of a home’s heating, cooling, and power needs are supplied by electricity, not fossil fuels. This includes homes that are connected to a grid and homes that are off-grid. 

A grid-connected home with solar panels
A grid-connected home with solar panels

Grid-connected homes are considered “all-electric” even if their grids are powered by coal or fossil fuels. Some all-electric homes generate their power with solar, wind, or micro-hydro to reduce their reliance on the grid, and some even generate so much that they sell it back to the grid.

Is natural gas cheaper than electricity?

In 2022, natural gas is still 2-3x more affordable than electricity in the United States (6.3 cents per kWh for gas and 14.5 cents for electricity) and Canada (3.1 cents per kWh for gas and 17.9 cents for electricity).

This might be a deal-breaker for the average homeowner, but perhaps not for homeowners who understand the advantages of energy-efficient electric appliances and renewable energies.

Current natural gas prices will not last. As natural gas becomes more scarce, we'll see the cost of extraction, and thus the unit cost for consumers, rise. We're already seeing market factors causing rises in gasoline prices. Fossil fuel companies know the renewable energy wave is here to stay, and they're going to extract as much value from consumers as possible before we've transitioned away from fossil fuels altogether.

A gas water heater
A gas water heater

What are the advantages of an all-electric home?

There are three main advantages to switching to an all-electric home: energy-efficient appliances and devices, taking advantage of renewable energies, and the possibility of moving toward net-zero emissions.

An electric induction stove
An electric induction stove

Energy Efficient Appliances and Devices

The future is electric. Today’s most energy-efficient appliances are all-electric, and this will improve as we see more technology breakthroughs. Induction cooktops are 90% efficient, compared to just 40% efficiency for gas. Under ideal conditions, air-to-air heat pumps for heating and cooling are 300% efficient compared to 95% efficiency for the best gas furnace. And for water heaters, efficient models return over $2 for every dollar spent on energy, while gas heaters return only 67 cents.

Even though natural gas is cheaper per BTU than electricity, homeowners with energy-efficient electric appliances will see these monthly savings on their power bills and even more in the coming years.

An air to air mini split heat pump
An air to air mini split heat pump

Taking Advantage of Renewable Energies

Whether it's your goal to live off the land or reduce energy bills, renewable energy runs electric appliances - not gas appliances.

"The Solar Ready Home" is a term to remember if you like the idea of moving to solar energy but are waiting until it makes more sense financially. A solar-ready home is an all-electric home that is energy-efficient to reduce the size of the solar panel array you'll need.

The Possibility of Moving Toward Net-Zero Emissions

Burning fossil fuels at home accounts for 13% of the United States' total greenhouse gas emissions, while burning fossil fuels for energy production is a whopping 25%. For the world to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, our homes and grids need a substantial overhaul.

An all-electric home is not only more efficient and emission-friendly in the short term, but it prepares your home to be net-zero-emissions when our grids transition to cleaner sources of energy in the future. And for the serious home sustainability fans, electrification is a necessary step toward achieving official status as a "zero energy" home, "net-zero energy" home, or a "zero energy ready" home.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2022-06-30T18:49:16+0000

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