The Coming Boom in Full-Home Electrification

Local businesses stand to profit in the coming years from an expected boom in home electrification projects. As concern about climate change continues to grow, and as the cost of fossil fuels rise even more sharply as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, homeowners are looking to electricity, rather than fossil fuels, to power their daily activities.

It’s a movement to electrify everything and it will drive a huge boom for local businesses who can help homeowners with the transition.

Electric Vehicles Leading the Way

Cars, of course, are the most obvious starting point. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are becoming so much part of the mainstream that it’s likely a substantial portion of local homeowners have already purchased their last internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

And for all the talk nationally of the need to upgrade public electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the fact is that 86% of EV charging is currently done at the home of the vehicle’s owner.

So the expected growth in electric vehicle sales is sure to lead to a similar growth in the installation of home electric vehicle charging stations. A local electrical contractor that can position itself as the “go-to” expert in all things to do with EV charging, V2H and V2G compatibility, bidirectional chargers, etc. could stand to profit handsomely.

Cooking and Drying

Two household appliances that currently run most often on fossil fuels but will soon more likely be electric are stoves and dryers. Gas stoves, in particular, find themselves in the crosshairs not just because of climate concerns but also the danger they pose to in-home air quality.

Numerous studies have shown that indoor air pollution from cooking is a health hazard, but new high performance induction stoves provide a real climate-friendly alternative to gas ones.  

Similarly, clothes dryers that get their heat from burning natural gas add to the climate crisis. Heat pump dryers don’t require fossil fuels to run, they don’t require venting, they’re more gentle on laundry and they offer 40%-50% in energy savings over traditional electric dryers. 

Local appliance stores and kitchen design specialists who have a good understanding of how induction stoves and heat pump dryers can fit into a customer’s climate-friendly lifestyle can gain from that expertise.

Space and Water Heating

While we have special relationships with our cars and, to a lesser extent, our stoves, the least sexy, and yet the most important part of our electrification future is likely to be heat pumps. And local businesses that specialize in installing them are well-positioned to profit as adoption of them grows exponentially in the coming years.

Massachusetts has set an ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and converting 1 million homes from fossil fuel to heat pumps for both heating and cooling, as well as for hot water. In order to encourage adoption, the state, through Mass Save, is offering $10,000 in rebates per home for air source heat pumps and $15,000 in rebates per home for ground source ones.

Even for homes that do not qualify for these rebates, interest free seven-year loans are still available. All of this points to a busy future for local heat pump installers who can position themselves as expert home electrification consultants.

Solar Panels

Of course, full-home electrification is only beneficial if the source of the electricity is renewable energy. A growing number of homeowners are choosing rooftop solar to power some, if not all of their electricity consumption.

They’re being helped by the fact that most local solar companies can offer solar panel installations for zero money down, either through solar leases, power purchase agreements or low-interest solar loans. 

Just as the Mass Save program helps homeowners conserve electricity inside the house, the Mass SMART program (Solar Massachusetts Renewable Targets) helps to fund solar projects outside the house. It has led to a huge increase in adoption rates for rooftop solar.

The best solar companies in Massachusetts will not only build systems that meet their customers’ current electrical needs but plan ahead to a time when there might be two electric vehicles in the driveway, an electric heat pump in the basement, and an electric induction stove in the kitchen. 

Full home electrification will mean larger solar systems and larger profits for local solar companies.

The home electrification movement is just starting to gather momentum. Local businesses that can position themselves at the forefront of this seismic shift will become market leaders in the years ahead.

 

Michael Jones is is a solar consultant for Sunrun and the founder of  SwitchingtoElectric.com, which explores the home electrification movement and helps homeowners to manage the transition. You can contact Michael here.

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