Instructors educating an audience

All-Electric Home Tour with DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Congresswoman Katie Porter

With Switch Is On Ambassador Steven Allison!

Published: October 29, 2022

It was very hot, the first day of a long and historic heat wave in California. BDC welcomed Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Congresswoman Katie Porter to a climate-ready home in Irvine, California for hands-on learning about the electric appliances that households across the nation can benefit from with the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Secretary Granholm is leading the DOE’s work to advance clean energy technologies that will help America achieve President Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Congresswoman Porter is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee where she works to elevate science-based solutions to the climate crisis. Steven Allison, our Switch Is On ambassador, opened his doors to showcase his electrified home, which has the benefits of lower utility bills, increased comfort, and cleaner indoor air.

Immediately upon entering, both Secretary Granholm and Congresswoman Porter commented on what a relief it was to be inside a cool home. Mr. Allison explained that he had replaced his gas furnace with a heat pump and now has air conditioning as a bonus. Congresswoman Porter, lamenting that she does not yet have cooling in her home, was very interested to learn more, and so they headed back outside to see the heat pump and learn more about it. Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, and can be up to 50% more efficient than window A.C. units., resulting in energy savings and reduced utility bills.

In the kitchen, Secretary Granholm and Congresswoman Porter learned about the advantages of induction cooking as they whipped up pappardelle with zucchini and chicken pesto. Unlike gas stoves, which require fossil fuel combustion and pollute the air inside your home, induction – which is twice as efficient – works by heating magnetic cookware directly through an electromagnetic field. This means that induction cooking not only eliminates indoor air pollution from cooking, but is also safer because there is no heating element or flame to touch. Congresswoman Porter was particularly impressed with the speed in which induction can boil water. Pasta is a favorite of her three kids.

Congresswoman Porter sat down with us for her signature “whiteboard moment” to show the cost savings and climate benefits of powering a home with clean, electric appliances and solar power. Aside from having no utility bills because of his solar power, Mr. Allison’s all-electric home is net zero, meaning it produces all of the renewable energy that the home needs and emits little to no greenhouse gas, which fuels the severe heat waves battering the state. This was especially significant since homes and buildings contribute more to smog in California than the state’s cars and power plants combined.

With increased tax credits and two new rebate programs in the IRA, there’s never been a better time to upgrade and electrify your home. The IRA increases existing tax credits beginning on January 1, 2023 when homeowners can claim up to $1,200 in efficiency tax credits for certain energy upgrades and up to $2,000 when combined with the installation of a heat pump or heat pump water heater. These tax credits can be claimed annually, which means that you can install insulation one year and a heat pump the next year, and claim the tax credit for each year. Eligible upgrades with specific energy requirements include heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, central air conditioners, induction stoves, home energy audits, air sealing, and insulation.

The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program provides up to $14,000 rebates for low- to moderate-income households with the following rebate caps:

  • $1,750 for a heat pump water heater
  • $8,000 for a heat pump for space heating and cooling
  • $840 for electric stoves, cooktops, ranges, ovens, and electric heat pump clothes dryers
  • $4,000 for an electric load service center upgrade
  • $2,500 for electric wiring
  • $1,600 for insulation, air sealing, and ventilation

The HOMES Rebate Program provides incentives that cover up to half of the project cost for whole-house energy savings. Households can receive a rebate of $4,000-8,000 depending on household income and energy savings. While the rebate programs can be combined, homeowners may not receive two rebates for the same upgrade. The IRA rebate programs will be available when purchasing an appliance and will be available in the next 12-24 months, but tax credits are available now and will increase significantly starting in 2023. CA residents are able to take advantage of some local incentives in the meantime and come 2023 the statewide TECH rebates will be renewed. The incentive finder on our site is for information on current local rebates.

Find out more about how you can benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act and see how you can make the switch!