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Home Electrification Fair Puts Gas on the Back Burner

Intrigued homeowners looking for ways to bid goodbye to natural gas in their residences stopped by the many booths at the Alameda Home Electrification Fair at Faction Brewing on Saturday, March 16.

Alameda Post - attendees at the Home Electrification Fair
Curious homeowners stop by the Home Electrification Fair at Faction Brewing. Photo Ken Der.

The event, which brought together a range of nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies, was presented by the City of Alameda along with Alameda Municipal Power (AMP), Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA), and the Alameda County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL).

“It’s all about reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Alameda,” said CASA member, Joyce Mercado. With AMP providing 100% renewable electricity to all customers since 2020, Mercado noted, “the more households with gas appliances that convert to electricity, the better!”



A flyer distributed by the City of Alameda highlighted the health, safety, and climate benefits of electrifying gas appliances, which include a lower risk of developing a respiratory illness, elimination of a leading cause of house fires, and a reduction in methane emissions. Residents may consider switching from a gas dryer to an electric dryer, or a gas furnace to a heat pump furnace. Both the California Energy Commission (CEC) and AMP offer rebates for the purchase of a variety of electric appliances. CEC rebates, funded by the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, include Home Efficiency Rebates and Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates. AMP offers a wide variety of rebates and incentives on electric panel upgrades, heat pump water heaters, and more.

For those on the fence or are unsure of where to start, organizations such as QuitCarbon provide energy audits and advice to help with the transition.

“We are your local, friendly, free advice service,” explained CEO and “Chief Quitter” Cooper Marcus. He described to curious listeners how his company offers free home energy audits to develop a personalized plan for homeowners with a schedule of conversion projects prioritized by magnitude of emissions reduction. When a homeowner is ready to convert, QuitCarbon can assist in reviewing contractor bids and searching for the latest rebates available.

Alameda Post - the QuitCarbon booth at the Home Electrification Fair
QuitCarbon CEO Cooper Marcus (center) offers listeners a free home energy audit. Photo Ken Der.

“It’s a terrific opportunity to talk to folks who are already curious about reducing their emissions,” Cooper told the Post. “I love working with them.”

Nearby, a small crowd gathered around “Charlie,” a high-end electric induction range manufactured by Channing Street Copper Company, as Culinary Event Manager Lisa Pinckney provided a hands-on demonstration, literally.

“There’s no residual heat!” she exclaimed as she placed her hands on the stovetop near a small pot of boiling water.

Co-founder Weldon Kennedy highlighted “Charlie’s” attractive features, such as the ability to plug it into a standard wall outlet for use, a wide range of oven temperatures, and onboard battery storage, which can be critical during power outages.

Alameda Post - an induction range demonstration
Lisa Pinckney (center left) and Weldon Kennedy (center right) show off the features of induction range “Charlie.” Photo Ken Der.

“This is the future of cooking,” Kennedy declared. Though the range is not yet on sale, Channing Street Copper is taking pre-orders for “Charlie,” which has a rather steep price tag of $6000.

Ingrid Ballman, a local architect, visited the fair to learn more about new vendors and cutting-edge technology. “I’m here to find information for my clients to prioritize what projects should be done first,” she explained. “All of them want to decarbonize, but sometimes we just don’t have enough information.”

Jerome Rainey, a homeowner who lives in Albany, came to the fair to learn more about the process. “I’m remodeling my house and trying to get rid of gas,” he said. He came prepared with research and a list of questions about solar power and wall-mounted battery storage systems.

The Home Electrification Fair is the first in a series of Alameda events celebrating Earth Month 2024.

Ken Der is a contributing writer for the Alameda Post. Contact him via [email protected]. His writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Ken-Der.

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