We created the Clean Energy Connection to connect homeowners with the contractors that do clean energy project work. Ultimately, this will help California reach its carbon emission
reduction goals, but we want you to know a little more about what qualifies as a "clean energy" project!
What Is Clean Energy?
Clean energy is energy generated from carbon-free sources and does not create greenhouse gas emissions when used. New regulations require that 100% of electricity generation in California come from zero-carbon sources by 2045. Examples of clean energy generation include solar PV (photovoltaics), wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power. California is expanding its adoption of clean energy generation and promoting energy-saving measures to help meet the State’s ambitious goal.
Why Should I Consider Including a Clean Energy Measure in My Home Improvement Project?
For California to meet its carbon reduction goals, we all need to address the energy used in "the built environment." By including clean energy measures in your home improvement or new home construction project, you will be doing your part to help the local and global environment. You may also save money on future energy costs while supporting California's clean energy workforce!
Clean Energy Upgrades and Terms
Heat Pump Water Heaters
A heat pump water heater operates similarly to a traditional electric resistance or natural gas water heater, except that it utilizes the heat from the surrounding air to heat the water you need. Heat pump water heaters are especially useful in the California climate and can provide impressive energy savings.
Ducted Heat Pump Systems
Ducted Heat Pump Systems are the clean energy solution to residential heating and cooling needs. Like heat pump water heaters, ducted heat pump systems (sometimes referred to as "heat pump space heaters") existing heat from the surrounding air, instead of creating heat through combustion, to heat and cool a building. Heat pump systems are efficient, all-in-one solutions that deliver both heating and cooling.
Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
Ductless mini splits are an efficient and versatile heating and cooling solution. Mini splits utilize heat pump technology and do away with the leaky ductwork often associated with central heating and cooling systems. Because they rely entirely on electricity, switching to a mini split is a great way to reduce your reliance on fossil fuel while increasing your home comfort!
Homeowners are installing EV (electric vehicle) chargers at their homes as they transition to EVs. While a typical 110v outlet can charge most EVs on the market, residential EV chargers use a 220v outlet to recharge EV batteries faster.
Induction cooking is a more efficient and safer way to cook. An induction range does not burn any fossil fuels like natural gas and uses electromagnetic induction to heat induction-ready pots and pans. Additionally, an induction cooktop is much more efficient than an electric resistance
Electric Clothes Dryers
Are you currently using a natural gas clothes dryer? Upgrading to an electric clothes dryer will further reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and decrease your risk of carbon monoxide exposure in your home! What to take it a step further? Consider a heat pump clothes dryer for even greater efficiency than a standard electric dryer.
Service Panel Upgrades
The future of California homes is electric — via clean electricity. If you plan to transition to all-electric appliances, you may need to upgrade your home's electric service panel to meet the demand. Upgrading your service panel now will ensure an easy transition off fossil fuels and eliminate the risk of fire present within many old panels.
Smart Home Controls
Programmable and Wifi-enabled thermostats allow you to optimize the use of your heating and cooling equipment based on your schedule. By only using your equipment when you need it, a smart thermostat can save 10% or more on the average electricity bill.
Fresh Air Systems
A fresh air system mechanically ventilates your home, providing clean, filtered air to your indoor living space. Some fresh air systems also include energy recovery systems that reduce the energy needed to condition the home. Fresh air systems can keep your home cleaner, healthier, and more efficient!
Whole House Fans
Whole house fans extract hot air from your home and pull in fresh, cooler air from outside. When the California nights and mornings make the summer temperatures cooler outside than inside your home, opening a few windows pulls in the cool, fresh air. Whole house fans are a cleaner and less expensive alternative to air conditioning.
Variable Speed Pool Pumps
Variable speed pool pumps use only the energy needed to keep your pool clean and fresh, significantly reducing your operational costs. Power consumption drops dramatically as motor speed and water flow decrease, and a variable speed pump will slow down to an optimal flow rate to maximize energy savings.
Solar Thermal Water Heating
Why not use the heat of the sun to heat the water you need in your home and your pool? Solar thermal water heating works by heating water with sunlight. The heat captured is then
transferred to your water heater using a heat exchanger. Solar thermal pool heating works using simple rooftop collectors and your existing pool pumps, providing a low-cost pool heating solution.
Photovoltaics are commonly known as solar panels. Homeowners most often install solar panels on the roof, but you can also install PV in unused sections of your property that receive ample sunlight. Solar PV energy is entirely renewable and carbon-free. There are many rebates available to reduce the cost of installing a solar PV system, and homeowners offset those costs further by selling electricity that they've generated to their utility company.
Battery storage allows homeowners with solar PV to store any excess solar energy for later use. Battery storage systems can operate 100% independently from the grid or even without solar. Installation of battery storage can reduce your demand on the grid, significantly reduce your energy costs, and provide emergency power during an outage.