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Home electrification will require code upgrades

Codes and Standards

Home electrification will require code upgrades

Residential electric panel capacity must be increased.

By Peter Fabris, Contirbuting Editor | August 31, 2021

Courtesy Pixabay

Electric panel capacity in most homes could be a roadblock to widespread electrification unless panel sizing is addressed in updated building and energy codes and targeted incentive programs, according to research by Pecan Street, Inc.

Electrification of homes that use natural gas and other combustion fuels is a critical step in achieving meaningful emissions cuts that will help to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Pecan Street says. As many as 48 million single-family homes in the U.S. may need electric service panel upgrades before they can fully electrify.

The research organization estimates that more than half of the new homes being built today have electric panels that will not enable full home electrification. Electric panel upgrades are an expensive proposition for most homeowners, though.

Pecan Street advocates creating sliding incentives based on household income levels to spur electric panel upgrades. Most all-electric homes will require at least a 200 Amp electric service panel—a provision that should be added to building codes, the research organization says.

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