Electrifying Everything: Getting off fossil fuels asap
In August, the US government passed a historic climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act.
It’s not nearly enough of course, but it is a start that we can build on. We’ve got to celebrate the wins and work with what we’ve got!
It means that, starting in 2023, US households can get up to $14,000 in up-front discounts on electric appliances, $7,500 on electric vehicles, and will save $1,800 on average annually in lower energy costs by electrifying everything.
Not too shabby, right?!
My goal today is to help you better understand what electrifying everything means and how important it is when it comes to minimizing your personal footprint. As well as sharing some resources and a strategy to help make your electrification journey as easy as possible.
At its core, electrifying everything is about replacing all the machines that burn fossil fuels with their new and improved electric counterparts, while simultaneously working to transform the electricity sector so all of these gizmos are powered with 100% clean energy.
A quick reminder for important context:
The existing fossil fuel-powered cars, power plants, furnaces, boilers, stoves, ovens, etc. around the world today will continue to pollute our bodies and the atmosphere until they break or are retired.
The amount of greenhouse gases they’ll emit over their expected operating lifetimes are known as “committed emissions”.
These “committed emissions” alone are expected to heat the planet to about 1.8°C.
Surprisingly, 42% of energy-related emissions come from the choices we make in our households.
This is why Saul Griffith says that:
“At this point, basically, to hit any reasonable climate target, you need 100% adoption [of zero-emission infrastructure] at everyone’s next purchase.”
Given the importance of these household decisions, we want to make sure you have what you need to get off of fossil fuels and electrify everything.
So we went to the experts.
We’re Partnering with Rewiring America!
We are excited to be partnering with the #1 electrification nonprofit, Rewiring America, to help make this electrification journey easier for you. We know this can feel like a lot (electrify everything in my home?!), but our hope is that, with the right support and resources, it can also be exciting and empowering.
In the coming months we’ll dive deeper into all things electrification with help from our friends at Rewiring America.
Here’s how you can get started.
Preparing to electrify your home
This is a big project and will take time. A little planning will go a long way to ensuring you improve your family’s air quality, minimize your footprint, and start saving money on your energy bills as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips:
- Make a list of all the machines that burn fossil fuels in your home.
- Determine what incentives are available to you at the state, local, utility, and federal levels for their electric counterparts.
- Do a little research ahead of time so you’re ready to go electric if your fossil fuel machines fail unexpectedly (don’t buy a new fossil fuel machine just because you’re on a tight timeline and it’s familiar!)
- Prioritize & plan. Which fossil fuel machines will you replace first? And when will you make the switch?
Here’s a framework from Rewiring America to help get you started with your planning:
If you’d like to get dive deeper into your electrification journey, check out some of Rewiring America’s top resources:
- Rewiring America’s Guide to the Inflation Reduction Act – figure out how to get the most out of the IRA
- Complete Guide to Electrify Everything in Your Home – everything that needs to be electrified, what it costs, and why it matters
- IRA Savings Calculator – how much can you actually save? Find out!
And if you have any electrification questions, please let us know – we’ll do our best to get them answered in the coming months!