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Electricity vs Natural Gas

Why Electricity In Your Home Is Better Than Using Natural Gas

By Rise
Mar 27, 2019

Are you using natural gas in your home? Have you thought about the health impacts of doing so? Thinking about switching your appliances to electric or doing a home electrification project?

Bruce Nilles--a senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute--realized that his most significant carbon footprint was his own home and that burning natural gas inside his house was unhealthy for his family. So, nine months ago, they decided to electrify their home.

In this video, Bruce explains how burning gas in your stove causes the air quality in your kitchen to violate federal health-based air quality standards - which is just crazy!

Why? When you light that gas stove, not only is it emitting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that causes global warming, but it also emits carbon monoxide (CO) - a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. While carbon monoxide is the worst offender, burning natural gas also emits nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and formaldehyde (HCHO), both of which can exacerbate various respiratory and other health ailments.

Gas to Electric

It turns out that there are over 12 million homes and buildings in California that use gas. Bruce and Bonnie are one set of homeowners who want to change that.

How? There are typically four appliances powered by natural gas: space heating furnaces, water heaters, dryers, and stoves--so they addressed those four to convert their house to an all-electric, emission-free home. They started by replacing the kitchen stove with a GE Induction range because the gas stove had the most extensive health impact. Bonnie was a little worried about switching out the gas range, but it turns out the induction stove is just as responsive and powerful. They also installed an AO Smith Water Heater and a Whirlpool Electric Dryer. They even purchased a seven-seater Tesla with jump seats in the back that the kids love.

Next, they installed Sunpower PV Panels. These rooftop solar panels power everything in the house, including the Juicebox EV charger.

With all of these updates in place, they could completely shut the gas off two months ago.

The Numbers

RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute) states that in Oakland, for example, an existing home that converts from natural gas heating with an existing air conditioner to an electric heat pump would drop from 7,500 pounds of carbon emissions annually to less than 5,000.

New homes perform even better because of the increased efficiency of new construction. If built all-electric, new homes in Oakland will emit about 2,500 pounds of CO2 annually on today's grid, compared to 3,500 if they burn natural gas.

Bottom Line

Bruce points out that it’s important to make responsible choices where you can and take steps that address the more significant issues within our control.

The three upgrades that made the most significant impact in the home are:

1 - installing solar panels

2 - switching to an electric car

3 - getting rid of natural gas appliances

It’s not everything, but those are the three big ones and a great place to get started to minimize our carbon footprint.

The more significant climate issues may seem impossible to tackle, but we can at least ensure the air in our home is safe to breathe. And if we all work together, we can solve global problems.

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: 2021-03-18T02:22:47+0000

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