All-electric homes are becoming the default for new residential construction in the greater Sacramento, California area. Earlier this year Dr. Horton, a national homebuilder, broke ground on two all-electric projects in North Natomas, a neighborhood in Sacramento.
Under the All-Electric Smart Home Program, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) which is the regional community-owned utility program, is said to provide rebates of up to $466,000 to Dr. Horton for the installation of electric appliances and equipment at his two projects.
What are the Benefits to an All-Electric smart home?
- 40% less greenhouse gases than a home powered by natural gas
- Saves over 1 ton of CO2 per year
- Reduces exposure to natural gas and combustion products
- The homeowner is given greater control of their home
- Lowers costs of living
Developers that are building all-electric projects are qualified for rebate packages worth up to $5,000 for a new single-family home or up to $1,750 for a new multi-family unit under the Smart Home program. The SMUD program also offers rebate packages worth up to $13,750 for gas-to-electric conversions in already existing homes.
According to SMUD, in order to qualify for a new home rebate you “must have all-electric appliances and mechanical systems – no gas line in the home, and no gas service at the property.”
Dr. Horton plans to build at least 104 completely electric homes in the new “Independence” and “Juniper” communities. These homes will come complete with heat pump space heating and cooling, heat pump water heating, induction stoves, and no natural gas infrastructure. As of right now, six model homes have been completed and construction is expected to continue well into 2019.
“It’s the initial rollout of this kind of home, so we’re really interested in seeing how consumers react to it,” Ray Nalangan, a senior architect at SMUD, said during an interview. SMUD aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are required to serve its customers normally by up to 90% from 1990 levels by 2050.
According to SMUD, just over 50% of the utility’s power generation mix is carbon-free. This could prove an important tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. “The understanding is we have to hit emissions in the building sector,” said Nalangan, “It’s an indispensable tool in being able to get to those goals.”