Zero Emissions All Electric Construction Guide Series
Spotlight on Retrofits!
This booklet is a simple “how-to” guide to help homeowners, home renters, and utilities and policy makers who want to replace existing gas appliances with efficient electric alternatives. Many of the electric products highlighted here are simple and require no home modifications. This booklet has three sections, the first to explain the costs, benefits and strategies for electrifying a home, the second section is lessons learned from case studies of retrofitted homes, and the third section is an extensive product guide to help choose your electrification appliances.
Jump to the section that you’re interested in:
- Educational and informative with case studies and history
- Updated comprehensive and curated all-electric product guide
- Inspirational large-scale architecture
- Actionable electrification strategies
- Educational and informative
- Comprehensive and curated all-electric product guide
- Inspirational architecture
- Case studies
A deep dive into the health, safety and environmental hazards of methane use in California.
Lifecycle Leakage Rate of Natural Gas Consumed in California
This paper uses the best-available science to estimate of the rate of leakage of natural gas from extraction to end-user (“lifecycle”) for natural gas used within California. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a very powerful short-lived climate pollutant. Understanding the rate at which methane escapes from the natural gas system has important implications on both short term climate impacts and long-term infrastructure planning for a low-carbon future. The California Greenhouse Gas Inventory compiled by the Air Resources Board accounts for emissions from sources and activities that occur only within state boundaries. As California imports 90% of the natural gas consumed within the State, excluding emissions from out-of-state processes can skew how the carbon intensity of different energy sources compare to each other and how greenhouse gas mitigation programs are chosen. This paper found that natural gas consumed in California has a lifecycle leak rate of 3.6% [2.4 – 4.3]%.
….for comparison purposes, studies have revealed that if
2% of natural gas leaks before being combusted for end use, the climate benefit from the use of natural gas instead of coal is negated (Wigley 2011).
Lifecycle Cost (LCC) Comparison of Heating and Cooling
Download the article here:
Excerpt from the conclusion:
For new homes, an all-electric home is much more economical than adopting a dual-fuel home with two space conditioning appliances. In addition, taking into account the avoided cost of an NG infrastructure cost, the economics of an all-electric home gets even better. For existing homes, the current capital costs of HPSC are only around 10-15% higher than air-conditioners (AC). So already replacing retiring NG furnace or AC with an HPSC makes economic sense.
Mandating new homes to be all-electric and incentivizing homes with AC and NG furnace to switch to HPSC will help bring down the installation cost of HPSC, due to economies of scale. Greater customer adoption will require larger outreach and education to consumers, building contractors, plumbers and technicians and developing regional partnerships that set market adoption targets, standards-setting, or performance goals in heat pumps.
Redwood Energy conducts cutting edge research in Zero Net Energy economics. Technological advances combined with energy efficient design have made all-electric residential design cost competitive with conventional gas-electric hybrid models.
We have also done work supporting energy sovereignty. See the attached Bear River Band Rancheria Energy Sovereignty Master Plan for a full report. The following is an abbreviated description of details in the report.
The Energy Sovereignty Master Plan is a detailed energy audit report with recommended improvements and cost analyses for best options for mechanical equipment replacement and building shell enhancement to reduce energy consumption in all buildings on the property. The report also includes alternatives and cost analyses for energy produced on site in four scenarios with combinations of biomass, solar, wind and battery storage. The report ends with financial resources available for the development of a micro-grid and energy resources.
Another research project supporting the energy sovereignty ambitions of the Bear River Band Rancheria is a complete Building Code for New Construction, which covers everything from Site and Design to Landscaping, Building Envelope, HVAC, Plumbing, Lighting and Appliances, Health and Materials, Performance, Renewable Energy, and Education.
Check back with our site as we reveal our research findings that show the environmental and economic benefits of all-electric building designs…
Trends in electrical consumption by air source heat pump water heaters in multi-family housing
- Case studies
- In-depth data analysis and conclusions
- Actionable recommendations
Watt Diet (Calculator) (Article)
The Watt Diet Calculator estimates the electrical panel size of a home. This calculator was made to aid in the process of building electrification (the act of fuel switching from gas to electric devices in the home) by providing users with an estimate of how much power will be used in their home to see if they will need an electrical panel upgrade.
In summary, the calculator uses a building’s characteristics and location to help size a heating product for the given home. Then it calculates total power use of the home, or the “Watt Diet” from user defined device specifications and by following the national electrical code.
This Watt Diet file requires the current version of Excel for full functionality. Minor edits are still being added.
Comparing Utility Rates and Additional Solar Needed to Offset Costs of 2019 CA Title 24 Prescriptive and High-Performance Apartments in All-Electric vs. Natural Gas-Hybrid Scenarios
What amount of additional solar is required to make utility bills of an all-electric apartment
building cheaper than its gas hybrid counterpart, built to the 2019 California Title 24 New
Construction Low Rise Residential Multifamily Energy Code in all Southern California Edison
Territory Climate Zones?
Summary of Study:
Three scenarios were studied using a two-story multifamily project, all designed to meet
California’s 2019 Title 24 Code with minimum code compliant PV arrays.
The scenarios studied are as follows:
- Minimum prescriptive compliance options for all-electric and gas-hybrid construction
- High performance mechanical system options for all-electric and gas-hybrid construction
- Adding more PV to the all-electric Minimum Prescriptive and High-Performance options
until the utility bills are lower than the gas-hybrid options
The two-story multifamily project of study consists of 26 residential apartments (Figure 1) and
was modeled using Energy Pro v8.0.3. The building of study was modeled in Southern
California Edison (SCE) Territories 5, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 16 residing in California Energy
Commission (CEC) Climate Zones 6, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 16 respectively.
This study examines the energy usage of five different technologies of cookware. Three insulated; a Crock-Pot
model SCR200-R 2-QT slow cooker, a COSORI C3120-PC 2-QT pressure cooker and a Redmond 5-QT
electric pressure cooker and two non-insulated; a SUNAVO 1500W electric cooktop, a Avantco IC1800
countertop induction range and an Air Core 8-quart insulated pot on the SUNAVO 1500W electric cooktop.
Two different pressure cookers were used to see if volume influences cooking efficiency.
The insulated cookware, pressure cookers and slow cookers used the least amount of energy per cup of cooking material. It was determined that the volume of the cookware did not significantly impact the efficiency. The induction stove proved on average to be more efficient than the electric cooktop. The induction was about 40 minutes faster and used 22% less energy than the electric resistance cooktop… (READ FULL TEXT)
Redwood Energy was contracted by Trinity Church in Menlo Park to deliver a feasibility report and plan for reducing natural gas use on its campus and adding a resilient microgrid so that the campus could be used as a shelter during grid outages. This document includes budget estimates for needed equipment and specific equipment recommendations to replace each gas appliance.
Redwood Energy projects have been featured in a number of publications.
Building to Mitigate Climate Change and Address Social Justice by Kathleen Marshall, featured in the magazine Home Energy, winter 2016. This article features the “Valley View Homes” development in Selma, CA for farmworkers, the result of a collaboration with Corporation for Better Housing. This development consists of 48 All Electric, 130% offset “Net Positive” houses.
We have here a Presentation of REU2016 data, which is an authoritative data analysis of the time of use of each fixture in a home from the “Residential End Uses of Water v2, 2016” (full report). If you prefer a shorter read, here is the Executive Report for Residential End Uses of Water, v2.
A re-analysis was conducted with the author of multifamily DHW use, sorted by students, seniors, low income families and market rate housing and analyzed per square foot. We have the full Zhang multifamily PIER study as well as the sorted data in an Excel file.
Home Energy Magazine, Winter 2016, quotes Sean Armstrong and some of his associates in the article “Building to Mitigate Climate Change and Address Social Justice“. Sean discusses the best practices and education involved in the discipline. The article indicates that of the 9 eligible USDA low-interest loans for farm worker housing, 5 of them were awarded to Redwood Energy projects.
“The Impact of a Home Laundry on Energy Consumption” by Sean Armstrong and Michael Winkler, published 12/2012. This article discusses the large impact of multifamily laundry rooms on CUAC-projected Utility Bills, and some recommendations, backed by supporting science from other publications.
A Pocket Guide to Compressors for Electric Heating and Cooling provides a brief overview of compressor technology for heating and cooling, including the different system variations and their suitability in specific applications. The guide includes latest models by different manufacturers and performance and other specs. There are also transcribed interviews with industry leaders on heat pumps, all-electric buildings, construction, life cycle cost, etc.
“Health, Safety and Environmental Health Hazards of Methane Use in California” takes a deep dive into why methane as a fuel source is more outmoded and dangerous than we know, using California as a case study.