Graphic courtesy of Electrify Now

Efficiency

All electric, high-efficiency appliances save money by reducing energy use & therefore utility bills. For example, induction ranges have an efficiency rate of about 85 %. In comparison, electric resistance stove tops come in at about 75% percent, while gas ranges come in at about 32 % efficiency. This trend can be seen across many household appliances (source).

A typical all-electric, single-family home constructed in Eugene, Oregon will save $390 per year on utility bills. That’s 20% less than the annual utility bills for a Eugene household living in a new home with gas (source). The increased savings is primarily due to decreased utility bills from high-efficiency appliances.

Gas prices are expected to increase over time as demand declines so these savings too will increase.

 

Justice & Equity

BIPOC, low-income, & other historically marginalized communities are disproportionately burdened by the health impacts of gas and by the cost of energy. ACEEE’s 2020 research revealed that low-income, Black, Hispanic, and Native American households experience significantly higher energy burdens, spending a larger share of their income on energy bills compared to the average household. These high energy burdens are associated with an increased risk of respiratory diseases, heightened stress, economic hardship, and challenges in escaping poverty.

Energy burden is s the percentage of income spent on powering one’s home. The average burden for low-income households is 8.6% – about 3X higher than non-low-income households. Energy burden can reach 30% or more (source). In Oregon, assistance programs only cover about 20% of the need, leaving many families in a difficult financial position. High energy burdens are linked to poor housing conditions and have been shown to impact physical and mental health, nutrition, and local economic development (source).

Renters make up about 50% of Eugene’s population and this group often has little to no control over the fuel source of their appliances or efficiency of their homes in general. Since many tenants pay their own utilities, landlords are often not effected by the energy burden of their rentals. According to a national assessment, the  median renter energy burden is 13% higher than that of the median home owner (source).

Health

In Oregon, air pollution from burning fuels in buildings were attributed to an estimated 365 early deaths in 2017 (source).

In a 2024 report, outdoor fossil fuel pollution from Oregon’s homes and businesses was shown to drive health impacts estimated at almost $88 million annually.

Learn more about the health effects of burning methane in the home on our Harms of Gas Stoves page.

Subsidies

Transitioning to electric homes and buildings is made more affordable by subsidy programs at the local, state, & national levels. Subsidies can be stacked to maximize savings.

The Inflation Reduction Act offers governments, organizations, and individuals significant funding to invest in a clean renewable future. See how much you could save by using Rewiring America’s calculator tool or check out local subsidies at the City of Eugene website or Eugene Water and Electric Board website.

Stay tuned for more information as the federal Inflation Reduction Act program is rolled out in Oregon.

 

Build for the Future

Electric heat pumps efficiently both heats and air conditions together, which means savings on appliance costs.

Building an all-electric home in Eugene saves $1,600 in upfront construction costs, primarily due to the cost savings from eliminating the need for gas infrastructure. Adding gas piping to a typical home in Oregon increases construction costs by about $2,800 (source).

A task force composed of leaders in Oregon’s business community recommended building codes and energy efficiency incentive programs as cost-effective measures to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. The task force found that “the economic impact of adopting [a model building code] would save commercial building owners $0.097/square foot annually, save $0.253/square foot in construction costs and save $1.5/square foot over the life cycle of the asset.”

Building without gas avoids creating “stranded assets” buildings that will have to undergo costly retrofits later during the inevitable transition off of gas.

Green Jobs

A study by UCLA found that electrifying California’s buildings over the next 25 years would create 8 times as many jobs as may be lost in the gas industry, supporting an additional 100,000 full-time jobs in construction, manufacturing and the energy sector each year. Oregon would expect to see jobs numbers for our state proportional to our population and housing stock. 

Jobs include HVAC work, both in gas removal & electric appliance installs, service, & maintenance. Jobs associated with building modifications, & electrical work associated with new renewable energy/grid infrastructure would be created.

 

So does going fossil free pay off? Transitioning to high-efficiency appliances that run on clean, renewable energy is good for your health & good for the planet, and good for your wallet too.