What will 2020 bring?

I’ve recently been thinking not only about LEAP’s programmatic goals for 2020, but my own personal ones. One programmatic area I want LEAP to explore is assisting low-income households in fuel switching – which brings me to my own personal case.

My family built a “green” house only three years ago, and it is now basically net-zero from an electricity point of view thanks to installing solar PV on our roof. However, a natural gas stovetop and a natural gas on-demand water heater were also installed.

I don’t like waste, so the idea of getting rid of a perfectly good stovetop and on-demand water heater drives me nuts. However, I probably dislike being a hypocrite even more, so if I am personally going to advocate for fuel switching (a personal rather than LEAP position), I need to literally get my own house in order. I imagine the stovetop (move to induction) and on-demand electric water heater changes will cost between $2,500-$3,000. Not insignificant, and not something we can expect from typical households, but manageable for our household to do at this time.

Those changes should accommodate for 90% of my current natural gas usage. The 10% remaining for our aesthetically-pleasing fireplace (which is gas fed, but used only in the winter and not to heat a significant portion of our home) I would guess can be done for less than $1,000. Finding a solution that also keeps my wife happy – something I always try and do – will probably be more of a challenge, as it will also impact the larger living room aesthetic, a space where she (rightfully) has the decision making authority. 

Let me know if you have any suggestions. I will share my experience later in the year, once we have the changes made. Not only the tech specifications, but also some commentary on the domestic negotiations that were needed to achieve my desired changes.

– Chris Meyer, Executive Director of LEAP

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