iPlug
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:57 pm

Wanted to hear what others have done and are contemplating with electrification/efficiency upgrades with their homes.

Most here have already done a large part of electrifying their transportation and many have also gone solar PV, but what about other home improvements?

Some examples:

Heat pump HVAC, geothermal, heat pump water heaters, heat pump clothes dryers, induction cooking range, home battery, insulation upgrades, energy efficient windows upgrades, whole house fan, smart thermostats, pool covers, high efficiency/variable speed pool pumps, etc.

Share your improvements!
2016 Leaf SV (leased) + 2012 Plug-in Prius (own), 11.43 kW Solar PV (16 MWh/yr actual production), Clipper Creek Level-2 7.7 kW charging stations x2, 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater

SageBrush
Posts: 2803
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:00 pm

I open and close windows and blinds throughout the year. It takes around 5 minutes a day, but we have a LOT of windows :D
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

iPlug
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:56 pm

Low cost excercise and price, low hanging fruit that may be often passed up.
2016 Leaf SV (leased) + 2012 Plug-in Prius (own), 11.43 kW Solar PV (16 MWh/yr actual production), Clipper Creek Level-2 7.7 kW charging stations x2, 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6326
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:55 pm

High efficiency heat pump and heat-pump water heater, as you mentioned above.

I just made an unexpected upgrade last week which was more substantial than I had imagined: Our eleven-year-old 67" DLP television was having a really hard time starting up so I finally replaced it with a 70" 4K LCD TV with (old-school) edge-mounted LED backlight. With the new TV on the lowest backlight power level it uses ONE-FIFTH as much power as the old TV and the picture is just as bright if not brighter. More specifically, the old TV used right at 200W of power while the new TV uses 40W at the lowest level, 100W at the middle level and 135W at the highest power level (which is too bright for just about any conditions we experience here).

The thing is that this TV is on A LOT, so we may actually save about 1 MWh each year. Even if I ignore future electricity prices, (but ignoring time value of money) this television will have completely paid for itself after it has been used (on) for seven years. Hopefully it will last long enough to get there!
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

iPlug
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:19 pm

RegGuheert wrote:High efficiency heat pump and heat-pump water heater...


Is your high efficiency heat pump central/ducted or a ductless/mini-split-system?

We are hoping to upgrade our central AC and gas furnace to a total central heat pump system or dual fuel heat pump/high efficiency gas furnace when either of these is on its last legs.

We replaced a 15 year old natural gas water heater preemptively last year with a heat pump water heater. I guessed this would cut our natural gas use 25%-35%, but so far we’re on track for 50%. A milder winter played some part.
2016 Leaf SV (leased) + 2012 Plug-in Prius (own), 11.43 kW Solar PV (16 MWh/yr actual production), Clipper Creek Level-2 7.7 kW charging stations x2, 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 6326
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:23 am

iPlug wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:High efficiency heat pump and heat-pump water heater...
Is your high efficiency heat pump central/ducted or a ductless/mini-split-system?
It is a central/ducted system.
iPlug wrote:We are hoping to upgrade our central AC and gas furnace to a total central heat pump system or dual fuel heat pump/high efficiency gas furnace when either of these is on its last legs.
That sounds like what we did. The house we live in came with a very crappy heat pump and we waited for that one to die before replacing it with a top-of-the-line Trane unit and then finishing our basement.
iPlug wrote:We replaced a 15 year old natural gas water heater preemptively last year with a heat pump water heater. I guessed this would cut our natural gas use 25%-35%, but so far we’re on track for 50%. A milder winter played some part.
That's awesome! If your HPWH is in your living space you will really appreciate it in the summertime.

We cut our electricity usage by about 2/3 by switching to a HPWH, but I find that many people around here can save even more. The reason is that they have a water heater and a dehumidifier operating side-by-side. If they can replace both of them with a heat-pump water heater, they might be able to cut their electricity usage by a factor of five or more.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K mi. on 041413; 20K mi. (55.7Ah) on 080714; 30K mi. (52.0Ah) on 123015; 40K mi. (49.8Ah) on 020817; 50K mi. (47.2Ah) on 120717; 60K mi. (43.66Ah) on 091918.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1908
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:56 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:39 am

The first thing I did when I bought my house was to add 6" of insulation to the attic. Then I replaced a bunch of windows, and sealed a bunch of drafts. The drafts were found from a free home energy audit where they de-pressurize the house and walk you around with a FLIR camera. Most of the rest of my improvements have been habit changes.

I installed zoned heating with programmable thermostats so that I can keep much of the house cooler when it's not in use (baseboard heating, three loops, each with a separate zone valve). For example, we now have the family room on a zone which is only heated from about 3pm (when the kids get home from school) to about 8pm (their bedtime) during the week. That's a lot of space (about 1/3 of the house) which is much cooler for most of the day. The bedrooms are on another zone, and they are kept at 58F until 5am, when I crank it up to 65F so I can actually get out of bed in the morning. Then it goes back to 58F around 7am, when everyone should be up anyway.

Electrically, we have two electric cars and a modest PV array on the roof (~3kW). The solar basically offsets the usage from the cars. The rest I buy from the grid. I happily pay an extra 1.5 cents/kWh in order to source 100% wind power from the grid. We make sure to unplug chargers when not in use, and have the entertainment center and family computer on power strips that are turned off until needed.

I looked into Geothermal heating, but it would be expensive (and intrusive/ugly) to retrofit into my house. I do plan on replacing the water heater with a heat pump version when it is time, but no sooner. Similarly with the stove, I have a gas stove but will likely go to induction when it needs to be replaced. That's all I have planned, but I'm always looking for new ideas, so thanks for creating this thread!
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

pyromancy5
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 337249

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:13 am

I'm currently collecting used 18650 lithium cells from our hospital to build a power wall. I have one pack built for 1Kwh, and as more of our AEDs and laptops are sapped out through the year, I will collect and harvest more cells to ideally have 10-15kwh battery backup at the house. Based on the number of cells I can get from work, this will take 1-2 years to collect and build. Ideally, this will serve as a battery backup for our home.

We are also saving for a solar set-up that will charge the car and the battery backup.

Our 1900sqft home uses about 600kw per month, but we have ng heat, water heater and stove.
2014 Leaf SL

iPlug
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:39 am

RegGuheert wrote:...The house we live in came with a very crappy heat pump and we waited for that one to die before replacing it with a top-of-the-line Trane unit and then finishing our basement...

We're debating whether we would need a back-up natural gas furnace (dual fuel) if we change our AC to a heat pump. Do you find that your heat pump can keep up with your low temps or do you go to resistance or natural gas heating at that point?

It only gets as cold as the mid 20s for a few hours, <5 times a year here, so don't know if a backup natural gas furnace is worth the investment. Not sure the HVAC guys would even agree to tie in our old natural gas furnace if upgrading the AC to a new high efficiency heat pump system.

A Trane 5 ton XV20i 20 SEER / 10 HSPF unit looks pretty sweet.
2016 Leaf SV (leased) + 2012 Plug-in Prius (own), 11.43 kW Solar PV (16 MWh/yr actual production), Clipper Creek Level-2 7.7 kW charging stations x2, 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater

iPlug
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Apr 2016
Location: Rocklin, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:44 am

GetOffYourGas wrote:The first thing I did when I bought my house was to add 6" of insulation to the attic. Then I replaced a bunch of windows, and sealed a bunch of drafts. The drafts were found from a free home energy audit where they de-pressurize the house and walk you around with a FLIR camera. Most of the rest of my improvements have been habit changes.

I installed zoned heating with programmable thermostats so that I can keep much of the house cooler when it's not in use (baseboard heating, three loops, each with a separate zone valve). For example, we now have the family room on a zone which is only heated from about 3pm (when the kids get home from school) to about 8pm (their bedtime) during the week. That's a lot of space (about 1/3 of the house) which is much cooler for most of the day. The bedrooms are on another zone, and they are kept at 58F until 5am, when I crank it up to 65F so I can actually get out of bed in the morning. Then it goes back to 58F around 7am, when everyone should be up anyway.

Electrically, we have two electric cars and a modest PV array on the roof (~3kW). The solar basically offsets the usage from the cars. The rest I buy from the grid. I happily pay an extra 1.5 cents/kWh in order to source 100% wind power from the grid. We make sure to unplug chargers when not in use, and have the entertainment center and family computer on power strips that are turned off until needed.

I looked into Geothermal heating, but it would be expensive (and intrusive/ugly) to retrofit into my house. I do plan on replacing the water heater with a heat pump version when it is time, but no sooner. Similarly with the stove, I have a gas stove but will likely go to induction when it needs to be replaced. That's all I have planned, but I'm always looking for new ideas, so thanks for creating this thread!

Very nice. We have entertained geothermal as well, but also found the costs and retrofit issues to be prohibitive with our existing house. Seems like this might be a lot more feasible with a new house build.
2016 Leaf SV (leased) + 2012 Plug-in Prius (own), 11.43 kW Solar PV (16 MWh/yr actual production), Clipper Creek Level-2 7.7 kW charging stations x2, 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF ducted air-source heat pump, 3.70 UEF heat pump water heater

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