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DIY Home Electrification Measures

On this week’s show we’re talking about the first steps toward your home electrification project. What I call the Low Hanging Fruit. These are easy and cheap energy efficiency measures — most of which you can do yourself (DIY) or do not require any special contractors.

Many people recommend starting with an energy audit of your home. However, unless you're working with a local energy auditor that knows your local conditions and incentives down to the city level, the standard energy audit recommendations are almost always wrong or out of order.

Beware of utility energy audits and recommendations because they almost always ignore energy efficiency measures that cut back on their own revenues — such as installing solar and battery systems.

So here are some of the Low Hanging Fruit electrification measures that you can do on a weekend with a trip to your local hardware store:

  • Replace all of your incandescent and compact fluorescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs

  • Eliminate Vampire loads in your house

  • Install a wifi setback thermostat

  • Seal air leaks around doors, windows and ducts

One step beyond these easy measures are upgrades or electrification of your energy hog appliances. You’ll need a few more bucks for these measures, and in some cases you may want to hire a local contractor. It’s a no brainer to replace your old gas dryer with an electric dryer, change out your old pool pump with a variable speed pump, and replace your gas range with an induction cooktop.

If you live in an older home in a cold or very hot climate, consider adding insulation to your attic and walls, and changing out your single-pane windows with double or triple pane windows. But watch out, some of these building shell upgrades have long paybacks.

So my advice is to get started on these DIY Home Electrification measures. When you consider newly available local, state and federal incentives, many of these Home Electrification measures have paybacks in fewer than two years!


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