Electric Panel and Watt Diet

Transitioning to electric appliances increases the power use in your home and could a trigger panel upgrade if the current electrical panel is close to capacity. Most older homes have 60-100 Amp panels while some newer homes have 200 Amps or higher. 

Electric panel upgrades can cost from $7,000-$8,000, and take an electrician about 8-10 hours to complete. Additional time should also be planned to work with AMP for your upgrade. 

Electric panel upgrades can be a cost consideration of the electrification process. If you need a panel upgrade, AMP provides a $2,500 rebate for electric panel upgrades if you also electrify one appliance. If you have a panel with 60 Amps, electrification is likely to trigger a panel upgrade. If you have a panel with at least 100 Amps, then there are options to reduce/share energy load on your panel and potentially avoid a panel upgrade. 

Watt diet for electrification with 100Amp electric panel

If your panel has 100 Amps available and you already have an air conditioning system, then there are options to avoid electrical panel upgrades. The following image shows how choosing highly energy efficient appliances and using Smart Circuit Splitters in a 2,500 square feet home with an 100 Amp panel can avoid a panel upgrade. Devices called “Smart Circuit Splitters” allow two high power devices to share one 240V circuit. It will prioritize the electric load for one device and pause the other device. It also allows you to avoid the need for new wiring if two appliances can share the same outlet. 

graphic of electric panel and breakers

Image source and more resources on watt diet : Redwood Energy Watt Diet Calculator

Choosing high efficiency appliances to reduce energy load

  • Choose efficient heat pumps over electric resistance. Electric resistance appliances use 3-5 times as much power as heat pump systems.
  • Choose a combined washer and dryer. They are ventless and use little power where they can be plugged into any 120V outlet, reducing the need to run a new 240V outlet.