Clean Energy Solutions for Your Home
It’s an exciting time to “Go Clean!” There are a number of available technologies to help Massachusetts homeowners save money on their energy bills while protecting the environment.
In Massachusetts, residential buildings represent 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and will play a large role in helping the State reach its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To this end, Massachusetts is aiming to retrofit and decarbonize 1 million residential buildings by 2030, through electrification and efficiency measures.
A Clean Energy Home is electrified, efficient, and weatherized, which reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, eliminates on-site fossil fuels,
can help reduce energy bills, and increases comfort. Each home is different — there is no “one-size fits all” approach.
Electrification maximizes opportunities for emissions reductions, by favoring electric systems and appliances over fossil fuels in homes. For example, modern heat pumps use less energy and generate less emissions than burning fossil fuels to achieve the same amount of heat. Based on the current Massachusetts electric grid, which uses some fossil-fuels to generate electricity, the use of these systems and appliances may still result in some greenhouse gas emissions. As the Commonwealth moves towards its limit of net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, and sources like solar and offshore wind increase the amount of renewable energy on our electric grid, electric appliances and systems will have an even lower carbon impact. Additionally, you can contribute to a clean electric grid by installing solar PV, participating in community solar, or buying clean electricity.
Efficiency, for example home weatherization, allows for lower heating and cooling costs, while making your home more comfortable. Taking steps to air-seal and insulate your home will ensure that it is ready for your new clean energy system and will help you reduce overall energy consumption. A tighter, more insulated home will not only save you money on operating costs and reduce your carbon emissions throughout the year – it may also allow you to buy smaller, less expensive equipment in the first place.
Clean Energy Lives Here helps you begin your transition to clean energy and understand which options may be a good fit for your home.
Planning your home’s transition to clean energy will help you maximize benefits and minimize costs when replacing systems and appliances in your home. Each system and appliance has its own life span and operating cost, which is why we recommend replacing systems and appliances as they near the end of their useful life. Advance planning will help you make the right decision when the time comes, rather than researching replacement options when an appliance has already failed. MassCEC has developed a planning tool to help you transition your home to clean energy.
Of the greenhouse gas emissions generated in Massachusetts, 24% are from residential buildings (including the electricity used in those buildings), and 26% are from passenger and light duty vehicles. The chart below shows that heating makes up 54% of greenhouse gas emissions from residential buildings in Massachusetts. While emissions vary significantly from household to household based on factors like number of occupants, efficiency of the home, and heating fuel, switching to clean heating will likely make a large impact on your home’s greenhouse gas emissions. The next single largest source of emissions in a typical home is water heating.
While it occurs outside of the home, transportation is also a large contributor to a household’s energy use. In a year, a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon and is driven 10,000 miles emits 3.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In comparison, the average Massachusetts household emits about 6.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year for their home’s building uses, including electricity. If you are interested in better understanding your household’s carbon footprint, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a Household Carbon Footprint Calculator.
Pledge to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by replacing old systems and appliances with clean energy technologies over time.