What Can I Electrify?
How you heat and cool your home. How you heat your water and cook your food. Where your energy comes from. How you drive or ride. And more!
Click on the badges below to explore electric options for each part of your home.
Renewable electricity, generated off-site
Installing a rooftop solar system is a great choice for some home owners, but it’s not an option for everyone. Oregon launched its Community Solar Program so renters (and anyone else with an electric bill!) can get renewable electricity while also lowering their monthly costs. Find a provider here or check out these two options: Arcadia or Oregon Clean Power Co-op. They will help you sign up and select a solar facility located within your utility’s service area. Once it’s operational, the rate you pay for electricity will be about 5% lower than what your local utility charges (~25% lower for low/moderate income participants!). There are no up-front costs, typically no early exit fees, and you’ll still get a single electric bill.
Low and moderate income residents can get information and sign up through Community Energy Project for green power and ever greater bill savings.
Green power plans are also available through your local utility. While it will cost a few extra dollars each month, you’ll begin receiving 100% renewable electricity right away, displacing fossil fuel. Signing up is easy. Learn more here:
Q. Who can sign up for community solar or green power plans?
A. Anyone with an electric bill. This includes not just renters and homeowners, but also businesses and whoever is responsible for the ‘house circuit’ electrical bill in multi-family developments (typically the home owner association, property manager, or owner).
Q. How long do Community Solar enrollments last, and what happens if you move?
A. Community Solar programs provide clean energy and reduce your electric bill for 20 years. If you move within your electric utility’s service area, your community solar credits and savings move with you. If you move outside the service area, you can transfer your credits to someone else or cancel the subscription. You can also opt out at any time with 30-90 day notice (depending on contract), typically with no charge.
Q. Can you sign up for both Community Solar and a green power plan
A. Yes. But participants should be aware that their enrollment in a Community Solar Program will not change the quantity of renewable energy certificates purchased from your utility green power program. If you enroll in both, you could be purchasing renewable energy products through two programs to offset the same electricity use. If you don’t not want to participate in both programs, you may unenroll or change you participation level in your utility green power program when you sign up for community solar – or make the change when your community solar project goes live.
Renewable electricity, generated on-site:
Roof-top solar photovoltaic (PV). If you own your roof and it gets good sunlight, installing photovoltaic panels provides clean energy to the grid, reduces (or eliminates!) your electric bill, and increases your home’s value. In Oregon, homeowners who generate extra electricity in summer months receive credit for use in cloudy months.
Incentives are increasing to help offset the cost of installing roof-top PV:
- Energy Trust of Oregon rebates, with a significantly larger rebate for low-income homeowners through their “Savings within Reach” program.
- Oregon Dept. of Energy rebates: up to $5,000 per system. Low-moderate income participants can access even greater subsidies
Visit our Find a Contractor page for local contractors who can help you install solar
Q. How does net metering work?
A. Net metering, as implemented in Oregon, means that electric utilities must credit consumers for any excess electricity they send to the grid – at the same retail electricity rate. This means that when solar panels produce more than the house uses, the meter runs backwards. If solar panels produce more electricity than gets used in a month, the homeowner gets a credit that automatically applies towards future electric bills. These credits expire each spring, so you can’t keep growing a surplus from year to year.
Q. Is getting rooftop solar the best thing I can do for the climate?
A. Not necessarily. Since your car, home heating, and water heating account for most of your household’s carbon emissions, electrifying those first are the best thing you can do for the climate. From there, if the grid near you has a lot of fossil power plants on it, solar panels can help further reduce your emissions.
Q. Solar panels will keep my house running in a blackout, right?
A. Unfortunately, your solar panels won’t work during a blackout if they’re also connected to the grid. To protect the safety of the people working to fix your power when it goes out, your solar panels are automatically shut off during outages. But if you have a home storage battery, your solar panels can be configured to recharge the battery, which will let you run some circuits from the battery during outages.
Q. Can I put solar panels in my yard instead of on my roof?
A. Yes! You can also put them in your yard or field if you’ve got a lot of space. And even if you don’t have a roof, yard, or field, you can still join a Community Solar project to buy solar power.
- Cooking: Eliminate up to a half ton of carbon dioxide and indoor air pollutants each year by switching to an electric resistance or induction range. switching to an electric resistance or induction range. Upfront costs will be offset by long-term operation efficiencies – plus your children will thank you for protecting them from harmful pollutants.
- Clothes Drying: If you own a gas dryer, consider switching to electric, or better, line drying. Clothes dryers use a shit-ton of electricity – up to 30% of some household bills.
- Ambiance: Love your gas fireplace insert? Replacing a gas insert with an electric insert will give you the on demand heating and the look of a flame without the complications of burning fossil fuels in your home.
Q. I love my gas stove — is electric really as good for cooking?
A. Yes! Modern induction cooktops are much more energy efficient than gas cooktops. They also get hotter faster, boil water faster, and allow for more precise and repeatable control. Induction cooktops are safer both because they only heat the pan, and because they get rid of the indoor air pollution from burning fossil fuel in your kitchen.
Q. Will I have to replace my pots & pans?
A. You can test whether your pots and pans will work with an induction cooktop by seeing if a magnet sticks to them — if it does, it’ll work! That’s because induction transfers energy to the pan through a magnetic field. You can also buy an “induction converter” that will get hot and let you use your otherwise non-magnetic pots and pans.
Q. Are induction cooktops safe? Do they interfere with pacemakers, or cause cancer?
A. Induction cooktops are generally safe. They’re safer than gas stoves because you’re less likely to burn yourself on them, and they don’t produce indoor air pollution from burning natural gas in your kitchen. But people ask about their safety because they use EMF (Electric and Magnetic Fields) to transfer energy to the pans. Here are responses to two main concerns. If you’re still concerned, just get an electric resistance or radiant cooktop instead.
For pacemakers: Yes, there’s a chance they could interfere with pacemakers. So if you or someone in your family has a pacemaker, talk to your doctor before getting one.
For cancer: There is no conclusive evidence that EMF has any long-term effect on health, whether the EMF is from your induction cooktop, your cell phone, or your microwave.
Q. If I already have an electric cooktop — either the coil burners or a radiant cooktop — should I replace it with an induction cooktop?
A. When your current cooktop fails, then yes, consider induction. But until then, you’re better off spending your time and money on electrifying everything else in your home.
Q. If I already have an electric resistance clothes dryer, should I replace it with a heat pump dryer or condensing dryer?
A. When your dryer fails, yes, consider switching to a heat pump or condensing dryer, which uses less energy than electric resistance clothes dryers. Either way, you’re best off hanging your clothes to dry and spending your time and money on electrifying everything else in your home.
Q. Are these appliances worse than the ones I have now?
A. No! These are modern electric appliances, often with computer control, that makes them work much better than the outdated machines they’re replacing. Electric appliances don’t create fire opportunities for young kids, leak methane even when turned off, or cause health impacts due to poor indoor air quality.
Air Heating & Cooling
Avoid 4-8 tons of CO2 per year by installing a super-efficient heat pump, that will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the wintertime. Depending on your needs, there are ducted, ductless, and portable systems available. Check Energy Star for more information on air source heat pumps.
Ground source (or geothermal) heat pumps may be an option for new construction.
ElectrifyNow has webinars and local contractor leads for heat pumps.
Love the ambiance of a fireplace insert? ElectrifyNow has you covered with the latest resources.
Q. I already have electric resistance heating. Why would I want a heat pump?
A. Electric resistance heating uses a lot more energy than a heat pump. Let’s assume that 100 percent of the energy from electricity goes to making heat in an electric resistance heater. A heat pump — whether for space heating, water heating, or clothes drying — can produce 300 percent as much heat (or more!) while using the same amount of electricity. So even if you have electric resistance heating for your house, you can save money by replacing it with a heat pump.
Q. My friend has electrical heating, and her electricity bills are through the roof! Why would I want that?
A. If their electric heat is expensive, they might be using resistance heating. Ask your friends for more details about their system, and suggest a heat pump if it’s resistance heating — their bill might drop by two-thirds with an air-source heat pump!
Q. Are heat pumps magical?
A. Heat pumps obey the laws of physics, but it is somewhat magical how they’re able to take heat out of even very cold winter air and pump it into your house to make it warm inside. Of course, since air conditioners and refrigerators are also heat pumps, they’re pretty magical too, when you think about it!
Avoid 1-3 tons of CO2 per year with a heat pump water heater. Technology is advancing rapidly for this home appliance; today they are quieter, longer lasting and more efficient. Visit ElectrifyNow for detailed information on how and when to replace your gas water heater, plus local supplier and contractor recommendations.
Q. Isn’t a “tankless” water heater the most efficient?
A. It used to be that instead of keeping a tank of water hot all day, it made sense to just heat the water when you need it, and “tankless” on-demand heaters were considered more efficient. But now Heat Pump Water Heaters have become the most efficient, since the energy they need to keep the tank hot is a fraction of the energy used in even a tankless version.