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As more U.S. homeowners switch to solar panels and electric vehicles, it's important to remember that for a complete clean energy transition, we must reconsider how we use and generate electricity, both at home and across our economy. For individuals, it means evaluating homes for opportunities to scale down or eliminate fossil fuel-based energy consumption. On an industrial scale, manufacturers and utility companies must reevaluate how they operate and commit to investing in a sustainable future.

Addressing the full breadth of the problem means taking a holistic view. Whether you're thinking about it as a homeowner or a business manager, here's how to plan your own transition to electrification.

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  • Electrification is the goal of transitioning to electrical power across the full spectrum of our homes, businesses, and electric grid, with a focus on renewable energy generation. 

  • Electrification is essential to work towards a net-zero emission target. Hitting that goal requires commitment from individuals and businesses, including utility companies. 

  • To electrify your home, you'll likely need to replace a few things, such as your HVAC system, stove, and car.

  • Go solar to electrify your home and save money on electricity bills. At the EnergySage Marketplace, you can browse solar panels based on price, efficiency, brand, quality, and more.

The concept of electrification rests on one simple goal: transitioning to electric power for everything. Yes, everything.

Today, many processes that require energy don't yet run on electricity. Most cars on the road run on gasoline. Instead of using gasoline to power your car, you could use electricity. To achieve full electrification, we need to scale that transition across gas ovens, coal-fired power plants, oil-based home heating, and anything else that consumes fossil fuel for power.

Electrification is an essential strategy to reduce carbon emissions. A dozen states representing more than a quarter of Americans have already committed to 100% clean energy or zero-emission targets, requiring efforts across sectors.

Switching to renewable energy to reduce emissions in the electric power sector is just one piece of the puzzle: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the electric power sector accounted for just 25% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2021.

Transportation, the industrial sector, and heating and cooling for both homes and businesses all play a significant role in contributing to emissions–and as long as fossil fuels still power them, we'll be limited in how far we can reduce our carbon emissions. 

To understand what's required to meet zero-emission targets, a 2021 report from Princeton lays out the specific strategies to achieve these clean energy and climate goals. The comprehensive Net Zero America report forecasts how to transition the American economy to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The results are achievable and quite astonishing. 

From an electrification perspective, a net-zero economy in 2050 calls for 300 million personal electric vehicles on the road, up from about 2 million in 2021, and 120 million residences with air source heat pumps, or a jump to 80% of housing stock from approximately 10% in 2021.

It's past time to get to work!

You may hear the phrase "electrifying your home" and ask yourself, "Doesn't my house already have electricity?" You're correct – your home has lights, appliances, and more that already run on electricity. Whole home electrification means operating your home on electricity, ideally from a renewable energy resource such as a home solar system.

Electrifying your home may involve removing a natural gas heating system and replacing it with more efficient electric heat pumps. You would also replace a gas stove with a convection oven, erasing your need for natural gas. To better understand how much electricity it'll take to power your whole home, check out this article.

If you want to electrify your home, you probably have some things to replace! These can range from your stove to your home heating system or car. Here are some of the major household appliances or systems you can replace with an electricity-based alternative 


Gas ovens and stovetops have been a mainstay in American kitchens for over a century. You'll find them in older houses and many recently renovated and newly built homes. Moving away from gas appliances to electricity-based induction stoves is not only greener, it's also safer. Unlike older gas stoves, electric stoves don't hold onto residual heat after you turn them off. Swapping out a gas stove for an induction model is a great first step toward electrifying your home.

Heating (and cooling) system

Another step toward electrifying your home is to replace your current HVAC system with an air source heat pump, a high-efficiency all-in-one heating and cooling system. They work exactly like an air conditioner during the warmer months but can also heat your home during the colder parts of the year. The latest models can work well even in bitterly cold weather, and thousands and thousands of people have already successfully switched from fossil-fuel heating to a heat pump. You can install them in almost any home, with or without existing ductwork. Some of the best models are now eligible for big incentives, too. 

Hot water heater

In addition to replacing your HVAC system, check to see if your home's water heater runs on gas or electricity. If it's the former, you can easily replace it with an electric hot water heater. If it already runs on electricity, you can upgrade your system to a heat-pump water heater for better efficiency or even replace it with a solar hot water heating system. Solar hot water heaters use heat from the sun to warm up your home's water: They're a great way to harness solar energy to further your home's electrification journey.


In your laundry room, your dryer may be gas-powered as well. When checking out your stove and hot water heater, remember to look at the energy your dryer uses to dry your clothing. You can update it and replace it with an electric dryer simultaneously with everything else.


If you've electrified other major appliances and systems in your home, an electric vehicle (EV) is another step you can take on your home electrification journey. You'll save money on gas, and you can charge your car overnight while you sleep. Almost all electric vehicles on the market now have a range suitable for the average American family, so you won't have to worry about stopping to charge it constantly, other than on longer road trips. 

While charging an EV can increase your electricity bill overall, you'll see savings in what you previously spent on gas to drive your old car. If you want to offset those charging costs, you can always install solar panels on your property to power your EV with free electricity produced by the sun!  

Electrical panel

Your electrical panel is the connection point for all these electrical upgrades. Depending on the size of your current electrical panel, you may need an upgrade, or you may need to add a sub-panel to support higher electrical loads! This is also a great time to add an energy management system, allowing you to monitor and control your electricity usage. Energy management systems come in various forms, such as a new smart electrical panel like Span or a smart subpanel like Lumin

Other energy-efficient upgrades

In addition to extensive upgrades like appliances, HVAC systems, and vehicles, you can also make minor upgrades around your home so it operates as efficiently as possible. You can undertake a home efficiency audit, often through your local electric utility, to get started. They will assess your home for heating and cooling efficiency and other structural or layout issues that might cause it to use more power than necessary to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

A lot of electricity! Electrification of everything requires the adoption of a suite of different technologies across sectors. These technologies already exist today but have yet to be widely adopted. Here's what you can expect in an electrified future:


The transportation sector contributed 16% more greenhouse gas emissions than the electric power sector in 2021. Electric vehicles are the primary solution for transitioning from fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, but they're not the only option. Some companies promise fuel cell or hydrogen-powered vehicles for commercial settings.

Industrial processes

Of the sectors to electrify, this one may be the most difficult. From manufacturing steel to powering forklifts in distribution centers, industrial processes typically require larger amounts of electricity than other applications or sectors.

Industrial manufacturing is an area that seems ideal for hydrogen. By using renewable resources to power a fuel cell, you can create clean, liquid hydrogen, which can power vehicles or industrial processes much the same way fossil fuels can, but without emissions.

If we electrify everything but continue to power our electricity grid predominantly with fossil fuels, we won't make much of an impact. From an emissions reduction perspective, it would be very inefficient to switch from fossil fuel burned directly for a purpose (like gas for heating or gasoline in a car) to fossil fuels burned hundreds of miles away to create electricity that will travel across the transmission and distribution system and make its way to your home or vehicle. 

Instead, it'll be essential to meet that additional electricity demand with clean, renewable energy resources, like solar and wind. And remember, if we electrify everything, there will be significant additional demand for electricity. That same Princeton report we referenced above suggests that a fully net-zero emission economy would increase electricity demand by 50-60% by 2050! 

There is a massive opportunity to develop clean energy in the U.S. We must create significant wind and solar power to meet the increased demand for electricity from these electrified devices and sectors while reducing emissions.

As you transition your energy needs to electricity, you'll want to ensure that electricity comes from a clean resource like solar. Whether you already have electric heat and an EV or are thinking about electrifying your home in the future, solar is a great option. To get started with reputable solar installers in your area, register for a free account on EnergySage today. All it takes is an email address, and we'll help connect you with pre-screened, vetted companies in your area.

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