Guest post by Rud Istvan,
This is the fourth of 6 posts dissecting SoCalEd plan for a carbon neutral service territory by 2045. It is a straightforward plan to electrify 70% of buildings. Why 70%? Because electrifying pre-existing commercial buildings beyond lighting and AC is virtually impossible.
The following SoCalEd image makes this reasonably clear.
70% electric space and water heating
90% fewer GHG from all electric homes
15% increase in electrical load
70% space and water heating
As with electrified vehicles (part 3), this is putting the economic burden on the homeowner, not SoCalEd. There are two cost components: capital and operating.
Switching a typical gas furnace to an electric equivalent costs about $2000, and switching a typical tank capacity hot water heater is about $400. Installation of both and upgrading the electrical service panel for the requisite more amps is about $600. (All per California home improvement sites and quote ranges.) So the total homeowner initial capital cost is about $3000. Not as bad as an electric car.
The bigger problem is the difference in operating cost. For this I went to state-by-state utility bill comparisons at the US EIA. The average California electric bill is about $100 (exactly $101.49 in 2018, higher in summer because of AC, lower in winter). The average gas bill is about $60, higher in winter with heating, lower in summer with just hot water and cooking. So that is a California difference of about $40/month or $480/year, all of which becomes additional SoCalEd revenue with a guaranteed profit.
90% less GHG from all electric homes
This is only true if the electricity comes from nuclear or renewables. If it comes from about 60% efficient CCGT, then GHG are about 40% more using electricity from natural gas rather than just natural gas for space and water heating.
15% increase in load
That is SoCalEd’s estimate. Could not figure a way to triangulate it so lets assume it is true based on their granular customer base. At least they were honest here about the additional load impact on their grid from fully electrifying homes.
BUT as part three showed, they OMITTED this same increased load estimate from vehicle electrification. And that omitted ‘detail’ is not +15%, its at least 100%– DOUBLE– and mostly at night when solar isn’t contributing to SoCalEd load capacity.