Developing A Beneficial Electrification Program
Energy analysts observe that over half of the manufactured homes they visit have health or life safety issues related to propane or natural gas lines and appliances. To address these concerns, Eagle County Government formed a partnership with Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) to improve the comfort and safety of mobile home residents while tackling climate change.
With funding from Eagle County, Colorado Energy Office, Holy Cross Energy, and the Energy Smart program at Walking Mountains Science Center, NWCCOG is transitioning Dotsero mobile homes from propane to electric heating and cooking. As several residents qualify for federal assistance, the Weatherization Assistance Program provides initial investments in the homes to reduce energy costs through weatherization improvements.
Following the weatherization improvements, NWCCOG replaces old propane furnaces with cold climate air source heat pumps, converts propane water heaters to electric heat pump water heaters, and updates propane ranges to high efficiency electric induction cooktops. This transition to a fully electric home━known as beneficial electrification━reduces energy use significantly, improves health and safety, and enhances an occupant’s quality of life. These improvements are especially important for Colorado’s low-income residents who spend a large portion of household income on energy costs and are at high risk for health and safety concerns from outdated propane appliances.
By July 2022, 20 families will be living in a safe, efficient and comfortable home that no longer uses carbon-based propane and eliminates the possibility of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. Through the Beneficial Electrification for Eagle County Housing program,
- Households are saving an average of $110 per month in utility bills
- $60 per month in propane costs are eliminated for each resident
- Each home’s greenhouse gas emissions is reduced by an estimated 6.4 tons per year
- Upgraded electrical service eliminates existing fire hazards
- Propane leaks disappear and carbon monoxide-producing ovens and hazardous space heaters are removed
- Ventilation and indoor air quality is improved