Many people looking to go solar want to take full advantage of solar as a source of clean, low-cost energy. This includes “electrifying” their lives by switching from gas to electric clothes dryers, or electric stoves and ovens. It’s only natural to be concerned about how much a switch to electric appliances will increase your power bill.
Efficiency Vermont provides estimates for the amount of electricity used by different sorts of appliances. They estimate that electric clothes dryers and electric stoves each use approximately 900 kWh per year, in the typical home. For Green Mountain Power customers, as an example, that works out to about $11 more on the electric bill per month for each appliance.
These values are for standard appliances. Heat pump clothes dryers use about half the energy of standard electric dryers. As Joe Rice at Green Building Advisors points out, heat pump clothes dryers can save energy indirectly as well, because they do not vent warm air out of the house in wintertime. That means your heating system doesn’t have to make up for the lost heat.
For cooking, you have the option of an induction stove instead of standard resistance electric version. According to Popular Mechanics, an induction stove uses 30 percent less energy than a standard electric stove. (Incidentally, they report that the induction stove uses a whopping 93 percent less energy than a gas stove!) Keep in mind that converting to an induction stove doesn’t mean using 30 percent less energy overall for cooking, since induction only works on the stovetop, not in the oven.
In addition to your regular appliances, it’s also well worth considering a switch to a heat pump, and swapping out your internal combustion engine vehicles with an electric or plug-in hybrid car. All of those options become even more attractive and cost effective if you install a solar tracker to help power them. You’ll appreciate what it does to your power bill.
We love talking about all things related to solar, so please reach out to us or call us at (802) 649-3700 if we can answer questions and help you think about how solar can cover an ever-increasing share of your family’s power usage!