How does QuitCarbon select contractor partners?
Initially, we look for contractors who have experience installing electrification measures, like heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. We find out about them in a variety of ways -- general advertising and public presence, participation in rebate programs, and recommendations from our industry peers and our clients. We interview them about their work and look closely at their online reviews.
We make clear QuitCarbon's standards: carefully reviewing our electrification plans for referred projects; not trying to talk our clients out of electrification (since we have already done the work up front to ascertain what electrification measures are appropriate for a given client); responsive service; and excellent workmanship. We ask for and contact references for our contractors, as well as review their license to ensure there are no outstanding issues.The proof is always in the actual work performed by contractors for our clients. We monitor projects on an ongoing basis for customer satisfaction and to ensure our standards are being met. We offer feedback and training, and share best practices across our contractor network to continually improve the electrification experience for all.
Should I heat water with a solar water heater, or with solar panels and a heat pump water heater?
In the more distant past, 10 or more years ago, it was considered more cost-effective to use solar thermal heating for water heating.
Recently, due to the rapid fall in cost of solar electricity systems, and the rise in efficiency of heat pumps, water heating via solar photovoltaic panels that are paired with electric heat pump water heaters has become more cost-effective.
This shift from "heat water directly by the sun" to "use the sun to make electricity, then use the electricity to heat water" was also informed by what has been relatively poor reliability of solar thermal water heating systems - a situation some of our clients have unfortunately encountered.
The one situation QuitCarbon knows of that is still optimal for solar thermal water heating is in larger multifamily and commercial settings, where there is a need for LOTS of hot water, AND there is on-site maintenance staff that can keep the solar thermal systems maintained. Even those sites will likely shift to "make electricity with PV panels, then use heat pumps" in the coming years as the “all electric” approach continues to fall in cost.
Electricity - The Grid, Reliability, etc.
Will the electric grid support all our newly-electrified homes and cars?
Also see this this terrific post from electrification expert Dave Intner at Southern California Edison, which links to a video from the California Energy Commission.
Do investments in heat pumps, induction stoves, EV chargers, solar, and other home electrification measures increase the value of my home?
They sure do! Numerous analysis and studies are showing that clean energy upgrades can meaningfully improve the value of your home.
Inflation Reduction Act Rebates
What federal rebates are coming, and will I be eligible?
- The federal Inflation Reduction Act will begin offering rebates for electric appliance installation and home efficiency in late 2024 (in California). These programs will offer unprecedented support for certain types of home electrification projects!
- Appliance rebates will be available to those earning less than 150% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and may offer up to $14,000 for home electrification, including $8,000 for heat pumps, $4,000 for electrical work, $1,750 for heat pump water heaters, and lesser amounts for other upgrades.
- Energy efficiency rebates may offer $2,000 - $7,000, depending on total energy savings, with larger amounts for those earning less than 80% of AMI.
- While the broad contours of the programs have been defined, the states still have significant leeway in implementing the programs, including targeting the money toward specific project types or populations. We don’t yet know what the rules will look like in California.
- The programs may seem well funded; however, because there are over 80 million homes in the USA that will be electrifying, the programs will likely run out of funds within a few years of implementation.
- You can do a basic qualification check here, though this doesn’t account for state-specific implementation rules that may include additional eligibility requirements.
- Rebates will not be retroactive, and will only be available after a state’s program has launched. In deciding how to time electrification work, you will need to weigh your personal finances against the remaining uncertainties in program requirements. QuitCarbon will analyze your specifics and craft a plan of action for your home - then we'll help you electrify with ease and savings, on the timeline that works for you.
- The IRA rebates are different from the federal tax credits, which are already available and are not income limited!