From Laura at Rewiring America, July 2021: Only 15 percent of respondents said that they believed their homes produced “a lot” of carbon emissions. And even those who do realize how important it is to replace their fossil fuel-burning machines with electric vehicles, heat pumps, induction stoves, and other appliances may not be able to afford them — not without some kind of assistance.
That’s why our poll found strong support for federal rebates for the purchase and installation of zero-emission and energy-efficient electric appliances among the people we surveyed. The poll got attention from Huffington Post and will be released in full next week, but we can share a few key findings:
- 65 percent of voters would prefer the government offers rebates on electric appliances vs. gas appliances
- 71 percent of voters support federal rebates for the purchase and installation of zero-emission and energy-efficient electric appliances
- 24 percent of voters would “Definitely” and 40 percent of voters would “Probably” consider participating in this rebate program
- 75 percent of voters think the associated jobs created by this rebate program would have a positive impact on their communities
This poll indicates that there should be strong and bipartisan public support for the Zero-Emission Homes Act of 2021, which Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) filed on Thursday, with the support of Senators Blumenthal, Smith, Schatz, Booker, Whitehouse, Murphy, Bennet, Ossoff, Gillibrand, Stabenow, and Luján. The bill has received widespread support from nearly 200 organizations and nonprofits.
The Zero-Emission Homes Act contains what one observer described as a “bushel of carrots.” The bill:
- Makes electrification easier and more affordable for all Americans, to meet our climate targets.
- Establishes a Zero-Emission Homes Program that provides households with consumer rebates to equalize cost differences with fossil-fueled alternatives at the time an appliance must be replaced, installed, or upgraded.
- Those rebates would be up to $14,000 for lower- and middle-income (LMI) households, and up to $10,000 for non-LMI households.
- Appliances that qualify: electric heat pump water heaters, electric heat pump space heaters and coolers, electric cooktops (including induction), and electric clothes dryers – as well as the critical enabling household infrastructure, an upgraded circuit panel (breaker box). Additional incentives are provided to contractors to help deliver the products to neighborhoods most in need.
As we’ve shown, electrification also offers enormous economic opportunities. Our new report, Bringing Infrastructure Home: A 50-State Report on U.S. Home Electrification, estimates that 85 percent of households in America would save money on monthly energy bills today if they were using modern, all-electric equipment.
Almost all households get cheaper energy bills
At least 85% of households in the United States — 103 million — could save $37.3 billion a year on energy bills if they were using modern, electrified furnaces and water heaters instead of their current machines.
Most households would save an average of $496 per year.
The savings are biggest for the 64.9 million households in the United States across every county who are currently using electric resistance, fuel oil, or propane and would save $496 per year on average.
Meaningful savings for low- and moderate-income (LMI) households
Of the households that save, 44% are low- and moderate income. Each year, they would save an average of $377. Many would save up to $493 per year on average.
It’s essential to reaching zero emissions
Furnaces, water heaters, dryers, and stoves account for at least 95% of residential building emissions but are replaced just once every 10-25 years. Unless we choose modern, electrified replacements for these machines, we will continue to need dirty infrastructure to power our homes, never getting to zero emissions.
Millions of new jobs will be created
Electrification would create 462,430 installation jobs in the United States. In addition, it would further generate 80,000 manufacturing jobs and 800,000 indirect and induced jobs.
Cleaner indoor and outdoor air
Electrifying these appliances would address the 42% increased risk of children experiencing asthma symptoms associated with gas stove use. Such indoor pollution disproportionately affects low-income households with smaller homes. Furthermore, outdoor air pollution from residential buildings currently accounts for 15,500 premature deaths in the United States per year.
At the national, state, and congressional district levels, you can see the benefits of household electrification, including:
- Household savings
- Jobs created
- Emissions reduction
- Health impacts
- New York Times Sen. Martin Heinrich Your Next Car and Clothes Dryer Could Help Save Our Planet“Our future depends on our acting now to confront the climate crisis by enacting policies to convert our economy from fossil fuels to clean energy. By making this switch, we will also create millions of new jobs, save American households money on their energy bills and protect lives by improving the air we breathe in our homes and workplaces.”
- HuffPost Alexander C. Kaufman Poll: Most People Don’t Realize Their Homes Spew Carbon, but They Love the Fixes“The findings, from a national poll taken between July 7-9, could buoy support for the new legislation Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is set to introduce Thursday that would add rebates for new energy-efficient or zero-carbon appliances and heating systems into the federal spending legislation lawmakers are currently negotiating.”
- Politico Matthew Choi House Democrats’ United Front “Rewiring America, a nonprofit focused on electrification, conducted research for Heinrich’s team and released its own report Wednesday on home electrification. The report finds that 86 percent of American homes would save money by installing all-electric equipment, and the manufacturing and distribution of the appliances could create over a million jobs.”
- Rewiring America June 30, 2021New Report Shows Electrifying Homes Key U.S. Climate Goals, and Most Americans Will Benefit “The Zero-Emission Homes Act of 2021 would provide rebates for the purchase and installation of electric appliances and equipment in single-family homes and multifamily dwellings, with additional support for low- and moderate- income households, who spend a larger share of their income on energy than other households.”