Have a gas-powered leaf blower? Propane barbecue grill? Many zero-emissions electric alternatives are available that may be safer, perform more quietly and efficiently and be less expensive to operate. Here are some exampl
Much of the content on this page comes from Redwood Energy‘s 2022 A Pocket Guide to All Electric Retrofits of Single Family Homes.
Electric Landscaping, Farming and Snow
Redwood Energy: Powerful electric landscaping equipment uses lightweight batteries and efficient motors that are half as loud as gas equivalents, produce no local air pollution, and are easier to maintain. Modern batteries now offer comparable length of operating time to gas tanks, and batteries are safer to store than gasoline, oil and rags.
Redwood Energy product examples.
ENERGY SAGE Buyer’s Guide – Best Electric Mowers 2023
Consumer Reports Best Electric Mowers and Tractors 2022
Consumer Reports Best Electric and Battery Leaf Blowers 2022
Wirecutter Leaf Blowers 2022
Consumer Reports Best Battery-Powered Snow Blowers 2023
Rebates: Socorro Electric Coop and Central New Mexico Electric Coop offer rebates on electric riding mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, trimmers, pruners, leaf blowers, power washers, additional batteries and bicycles!
Electric BBQ grills heat up faster and more evenly and take up less space than gas or charcoal grills. Electric grills allow precise temperature control, however some do not generate as a high a heat needed for searing. With no fumes, flames or flyaway embers, they are less hazardous to use outdoors especially during fire season or where there are local restrictions and are ideal for cooking indoors. Easier to clean and more portable, they may also be cheaper to operate.
Redwood Energy product examples.
The Spruce Eats 7 Best Electric Grills of 2023
Cuisine at Home Best Electric Grills (Jan. 2023)
Swimming Pool Heaters and Pumps
From LED-illuminated water vapor mists and reflective glass ember beds to glowing log inserts, electric fireplaces can warm and brighten a room without emitting soot, smoke, carbon monoxide or other harmful combustion byproducts from propane, gas and wood fires. While many of these fireplaces can generate heat, it is much more efficient to heat your home with a heat pump. So we recommend turning off the heating function and just enjoying the visual glow.
This Old House best Electric Fireplaces of 2023.
Retrofit Design, Home Energy Management Systems and Splitters
Reduce energy use. Maximize comfort. Save money and effort with these smart strategies and devices that direct where electricity should flow when. And possibly avoid a costly electrical panel upgrade too.
Design: The Watt Diet Retrofit
Redwood Energy has a free 2022 guide and 30-minute video outlining how to retrofit a single family home for electrification, following the National Electric Code (NEC) without having to shell out for a costly electrical panel upgrade. They call this the Watt Diet, and they give an example of a 2,000 square foot all-electric 100-amp house in northern California, but they say it would work with larger houses and colder climates. They have a downloadable, Excel-based Watt Diet Calculator that uses information about your home and its location to estimate its power and NEC requirements, a selection of appliances, and circuit sharing devices capable of pausing some devices such as EV chargers to design a system compatible with your existing electric panel.
Device: Smart Thermostats
Device: Smart Circuit Splitters
You’ve just purchased your first electric car, and you are eager to charge it at home. But when you hear how expensive it is to install a dedicated 240 volt line and panel upgrade for a Level 2 charger in your garage, your heart sinks. If the Inflation Reduction Act and other financial incentives don’t work for you (or your landlord), check out a circuit splitter. If there is an existing 30-amp, 240 volt outlet for your electric clothes dryer in your garage or nearby utility room, you are in luck. Your EV and dryer can’t use the same circuit at the same time, but a circuit splitter orchestrates which appliance gets the power. If your electrician is wary of circuit splitters for safety reasons, ask about a subpanel.
- Electrek Article 240V smart splitter allows extra EV charging without expensive wiring Sept 2022
- Redwood Energy (see also p. 32 for an example of using a splitter for an induction cooktop to share a circuit with a heat pump water heater).
Device: Smart Panels
A smart panel can coordinate when different appliances turn on, when electric cars and home batteries charge and discharge and where rooftop solar electricity is directed. It replaces the traditional circuit breaker box or electrical panel. At a simple level it might pause EV charging in order to turn on the clothes dryer or delay a dishwasher run to avoid expensive time-of-use utility rates. During a power outage, it could prioritize essential electricity needs, turn off individual unneeded circuits and optimize the use of solar, storage or EV batteries. According to one company these panels qualify for the Federal (25 D) 30% of equipment and installation costs Solar Tax Credit (when the panel is installed with solar), (25C) IRA tax credit ($600 max) if the panel is upgraded in conjunction with heat pump or heat pump water heater and the IRA HEEHRA point-of-sale rebates for low- and moderate-income households up to $4,000.
Cool Davis.org: How Smart Electrical Panels Manage Loads Possibly Avoiding the Need for Upgrades (photo from this blog).
Device: Meter Collar Adapters
These easy-to-install adapters, save time and money by avoiding extensive electrical panel work for solar panels. According to the company, ConnectDER meter socket adapters take about an hour for a licensed electrician or participating utility meter technician to install between the meter socket and utility meter, enabling easier solar interconnection. With Siemens, they are expanding into plug-in adapters for EV Chargers as well, reducing EV charger installation costs by 60-80%. The meter collar adapters are installed between your meter and the meter socket. Unfortunately, they are not available in New Mexico yet.