Where to start?
Start at home! We’ve identified 10 main things you can do to go all-electric, and get fossil fuels out of your home. The great news is that electric appliances are now BETTER than fossil fueled ones, so it’s not a sacrifice, it’s an improvement.
Download Rewiring America’s FREE guide,“Electrify Everything in Your Home.”
Don’t get overwhelmed — just replace each appliance as it fails (though sooner is helpful, too). We strongly encourage you to make a plan so you don’t just default into another fossil-fueled replacement, which will lock in burning for up to 20 years! The guide will help you make your plan & know what to ask your contractors.
Each of the 10 chapters in the guide has a “Do Now” recommendation, including suggestions for renters. Consider trying to make progress on as many of the 10 things as you can, as soon as you can, to get the ball rolling.
Some things are easy, like switching your utility bill to an all-renewable option. It might take 10 minutes to log onto your utility or giving them a call, and then you’ll have one thing done!
Other things are fun, like identifying a couple of electric vehicles to test drive, quickly getting online quotes for putting solar on your roof, or buying a $50+ portable induction burner to try out (and start using instead of your gas stove).
Harder things will feel more manageable if you think about them now. For example, a first step towards getting a heat pump for space heating and cooling is getting a home energy audit (which can help lower your bills immediately!), and calling some heat pump-friendly contractors for quotes. If you do this well before you need to replace your furnace, you’ll be ready when it stops working in the middle of the night in January.
Benefits of electrification
At Rewiring America, we’re convinced that the future will be awesome — if we electrify everything. Around 40% of the United States' carbon emissions come from our homes and the vehicles we drive. Simply switching everything in our lives to be powered by electricity from renewable energy will go a long way toward getting our emissions down and reducing the impact of climate change.
It's easier and more fun to electrify everything with your neighbors! You can share your research, negotiate discounts with contractors, and make an even bigger difference together. This guide from Denver is helpful.
You can also document your research and share it with your community. For example, switching your electric bill to a renewable plan might be easy for you, but confusing for others. Take screenshots and set up a simple web page to help others who have the same utility as you. Here’s an example from Ohio.
As you electrify, consider opening your home to others to see the results — maybe as part of a “green home tour” (see examples from the Bay Area here). If you get a portable induction burner to try out, invite friends over to cook with it and share a meal. If you get an electric vehicle, take others for a ride or let them try driving it.
And finally, you might consider working with your kids and teachers to get a School Board resolution passed to require a plan to electrify the district’s school buildings. There is a strong “how-a-bill-be-comes-a-law” lesson for kids to learn, with potentially concrete, real-world results. You could even run for School Board on an electrification platform!
If you've never reached out to your Mayor or other local elected officials, it's not that scary! Ask them to join Rewiring America’s Mayors & Municipal Leaders for Electrification coalition.
Of course you should also reach out to your state and federal elected politicians to promote electrification. Whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, or you assume they’re already for electrification, it’s still worth calling! They take note of every call, and calling is better than emailing.
For federal elected officials, you can call and tell them you want spending increased on electrification and clean energy. [Here’s an easy way to call a single number and get connected to your Senators.]
An under-recognized place where you can make a big difference is with your state Public Utility Commission (or Public Service Commission). They’re the ones who make decisions about power plants and electricity rates. As the Audubon Society recommends, “Get to Know Your Public Utility Commission—and Pressure it" and the NAACP is especially active in this fight, so consider joining up with them.
And finally, you can also ask your employers and your local businesses to join Rewiring America’s CEOs for Electrification coalition.
And remember: you are leading the charge!
There are a lot of decisions to make in switching to all-electric, and we understand that most people don’t like making lots of decisions. But going all-electric is an act of hope! As someone from the California Energy Commision said:
A solution to the climate crisis is finally surfacing, and I hope everybody hears this:
- Clean your electric grid, because electricity has the potential to be fully renewable.
- Electrify vehicles as they are the #1 emitters in the nation.
- Drastically reduce fossil fuel use in homes and buildings.
We have a solution, we just need everyone’s help implementing it! You’re a pioneer in switching to all-electric, and we aim for everyone to follow your lead. Here are some ideas:
- Share what you’re doing — it ripples out everywhere!
- Post on social media about your electrifying journey, why you’re doing it, and why everyone else should too. Ask friends and trusted advisors for any tips and support.
- Write articles for your local paper, newsletter, or online neighborhood place about electrification. Encourage people you know to both electrify everything in their home, and also contact their representatives about it.
- Talk to us — email us at email@example.com. We’d love to share your stories.
And remember, the biggest beneficiaries of going all-electric will be your kids, whose future you’re helping to secure. Thanks for taking the lead!
Redwood Energy’s “A Pocket Guide to All Electric Retrofits of Single Family Homes”
Menlo Park’s “Going from Gas to Electric” webinar
Environment America’s “Ten Ways Your Community Can Go All-Electric”