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Currently, the study is based on specific investor-owned utility rates (PG&E).
The new state code requires a minimum amount of solar for low rise residential. However, there is an opportunity to start to provide greater energy grid resilience and lower utility costs for non-residential and high rise residential buildings.
The statewide study covers all geographical regions in California and Menlo Park is located in climate zone 2. The 2019 cost-effectiveness studies can be found on the CA Local Energy Codes website.
In most cases, all electric buildings cost less to build because it eliminates the installation cost of the natural gas infrastructure. These studies examine the upfront costs, maintenance costs, and operational costs of all-electric designs and support these conclusions:
The photovoltaic (PV) system offsets the electricity usage of a mixed-fuel home. An all-electric home is required to have a baseline PV system size equivalent to a similar mixed-fuel home.
Yes, a heat pump water heater can equal the performance of a gas equivalent. For example, Rheem's 55 gallon unit can deliver 70 gallons of hot water in the first hour, enough for about four showers. For comparison, Rheem's gas equivalent delivers 79 gallons in the first hour. When selecting any hot water heater, no matter the fuel, make sure it is the right size for your use type. A home with a big family might need a larger 80 gallon tank.
Yes, when designed appropriately. Many entities are supporting design guideline development, expected to be publicly available in early 2020.
The natural gas grid and electric grid both go down on occasion. In fact, during California's primary natural disaster events, wildfires and earthquakes, utilities are supposed to turn the gas off. If 100% reliability is a goal for your home or project, electrification with battery and solar backup via microgrid is an effective solution.
Induction cooking has more specific temperature control, is much safer, easier to clean, and can vary heat settings faster than gas.
In every case, all-electric systems operate more efficiently than natural gas systems.