California Utility Offers Rebates and Incentives for Going All-Electric

Promo image. Edison Electric Institute ad from the 60s

We noted earlier that California is changing its building codes in 2020 to Reduce Demand; Now in Sacramento, California, the electricity it taking this issue seriously, and is offering big rebates to homeowners who Electrify Everything.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is giving back bucks to people who replace gas burning equipment: $2,500 toward heat pumps for space heating, $ 3,000 for heat pump water heaters, and another $2,500 bonus for going all-electric and reducing demand by sealing and insulating, getting an induction cooktop or electric car or heat pump clothes dryer, to a total of $13,750.

Summary from presentation

SMUD presentation /Public Domain

Owen Howlett, Research director for SMUD, says that energy efficiency measures cannot reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough, and that going all electric is necessary to reach the utility's targets, even though the utility only gets a little more than half of its electricity from carbon-free sources at this time.

According to Justin Gerdes in Greentech Media,

SMUD offers rebates for all-electric homes because awareness of technologies such as heat-pump water heaters among homeowners, and even among plumbers and other building professionals, is so low. “There are a lot of market barriers to overcome,” said Howlett. “Perception barriers. Awareness barriers. The faster we address those, the faster we get through the critical phase.”

Builders of new houses also get a rebate of $5,000 if they leave gas behind.

“When we install gas infrastructure in new homes, we know that we’re going to have to take that out at some point,” said Howlett. “Putting gas pipes in the ground in 2018 doesn’t make any sense...California is wasting money every day by continuing to build homes with gas infrastructure that will have to be retrofitted.”

Most people burn gas for hot water and heat because it has traditionally been a lot cheaper than electricity. But the new heat pump technologies are so much more efficient that at least in Sacramento, where the municipal utility charges less than other California utilities, Howlett predicts that homeowners can actually save money.

Live Better Electrically

Live Better Electrically/via

So it makes more sense than ever to:
Reduce Demand!
Electrify Everything!