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Electric panels, also known as breaker boxes, are present in all homes and buildings. They distribute electricity from the grid, solar and battery systems throughout the home. Each circuit in the panel controls the delivery of electricity to specific parts of the home or to a specific piece of equipment or appliance, such as air conditioning or refrigerators.
Electric panels have a maximum amount of power that can be supported and delivered to the home. When switching an electric-powered appliance, or when installing equipment like vehicle chargers, your current panel or circuit may be too small to handle the additional load. In such cases, modification or an upgrade is necessary, especially in older homes that haven’t been renovated recently.
It’s important to hire a licensed electrical expert to evaluate whether a new circuit is needed, or a panel upgrade is needed. New incentives are available for homeowners that may need a panel upgrade.
Modern technologies offer solutions to avoid immediate panel upgrades. Certain appliances, like heat pump water heaters and dryers, can now operate on standard 120V outlets, potentially eliminating the need for modifications. Additionally, smart switches allow for intelligent power distribution between two devices, such as an EV charger and a heat pump dryer, preventing overloading a circuit and tripping a breaker.
A home electric vehicle charging station allows you to plug in your electric vehicle (EV) to recharge and start your day with a full battery – imagine having a full tank every morning.
Electric vehicles (often called battery electric vehicles) are an eco-friendly choice, significantly reducing carbon emissions. In the State of California, transportation made up 38% of all emissions in 2020 and 48% of all emissions in the San Diego region!
EVs also help reduce tailpipe emissions associated with gas cars which can have negative health impacts. This means a healthier community with cleaner air.
Smart EV chargers offer the advantage of adjusting charging levels and timing to charge when electricity prices are low. This helps benefit the grid without compromising your full charge.
Level 1 Chargers: These plug into a standard 120v home outlet, providing a slow charging rate of about 3-4 miles of range per hour. Ideal for daily charging needs for most drivers with short commutes.
Level 2 Chargers: Require a dedicated 208/240v outlet and offer faster charging at around 20-25 miles of range per hour. Suitable for longer commutes or for those returning from road trips.
Our marketplace will show you eligible Level 2 chargers.
In public and at many employers, you may encounter Level 2 chargers to help you charge while you work or play.
Found exclusively in public spaces, “super-chargers” or “hyper chargers” are direct current fast chargers deliver impressive power in a short time. They can add up to 10 miles of range per minute of charging time. Their speed is measured in kilowatts (kW) and they can be found in 50, 100, 150, 200 and even 350 kW varieties! These are perfect for a quick 20–30-minute charge (depending on your car) during road trips or if you lack a home EV charger.
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Solar panels are a commonplace technology that generates clean electricity from the sun that can power your home and help reduce your electricity bill.
Solar panels are often placed on roofs of buildings and operate silently to convert sunlight into electricity that is passed through a device called an inverter to transform it into electricity your home will use.
By adding a battery energy storage system in a garage, or even against an outside wall, you can store the clean solar energy to be used in the evenings or during times of low sunlight.
Solar and battery energy storage systems allow you to offset your home’s electricity usage from the broader electric grid and reduce your energy bill.
By installing a battery along with your solar system, you can reduce how much energy is consumed during peak (i.e., expensive) times and further reduce your bill. When you pair the battery with a safety disconnect switch and subpanel, it can also help power your home during power outages.
By installing solar at your home, you can increase your own self-reliance and minimize the need or demand for fossil fuels.
Electric dryers have been around for decades but there’s a new technology in town — heat pump dryers!
Heat pump dryers work similarly to other heat pump technology by extracting heat from the surrounding air and using it to dry your clothes. They use a refrigerant to catch the hot air from the dryer, push it through a compressor to make it even hotter, then repeat the cycle until clothes are dry.
Heat pump dryers don’t need a vent to the outside since they recycle heat within their own closed system. This allows them to be installed in more places.
Due to their efficient use of electricity, transferring heat instead of generating any, heat pump dryers operate at a lower temperature. While they take longer to completely dry clothes (a slight inconvenience), the lower temperature extends the life of your clothes.
Heat pump dryers use 40-50% less energy than a standard electric dryer, which means big savings on your electric bill.
Most dryer fires start when built-up lint near the motor, gas burners or heating elements catch on fire. The fire then spreads to ignite lint in the vents. Because most heat pump dryers don’t have burners or heating elements* and are ventless, the fire hazard can be significantly reduced.
*Please note that dryers marketed as “Hybrid” or “Hybrid heat pump” may include a heating element
Heat pump water heaters, in simple terms, work like a refrigerator in reverse – they extract heat from the surrounding air using refrigerant coils and transfer the heat to water in the tank.
Heat pump water heaters can provide the same level of hot water demand and can even be used to save even more money by heating the water during inexpensive times of the day.
Heat pump water heaters eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide leaks , as well as natural gas leaks ensuring a safer home environment.
Since they move existing heat, instead of generating it, they can be three times more efficient than a conventional water heater.
Heat pumps are ingenious devices that efficiently heat and cool your home by moving heat around! In cooling mode, they pass the air inside your home through coils to extract the heat and dump it outside. In heating mode, they pass the outside air through coils to extract the heat and blow it inside your home.
Heat pumps come in two forms: mini split or ducted. Mini splits can be installed as a single device on the wall while a ducted one uses your existing ducts (vents) throughout the home to distribute air.
Using a heat pump for heating and cooling eliminates the risk of carbon monoxide and natural gas, ensuring a safer home environment.
Heat pumps operate silently so you can enjoy a relaxing environment. Most heat pumps generate as much noise as a refrigerator and most of that noise is produced outside (depending on the model and type).
Heat pumps are incredibly efficient, up to four times more efficient than a standard air conditioner or furnace. They can also heat and cool your home with a single unit, reducing energy consumption.
Integrating smart thermostats with your heat pump can lead to lower energy bills. These devices can learn your temperature preferences and adjust the system efficiently. You can save money and even receive alerts or automatic adjustments during peak energy pricing.
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Induction cooking is an efficient way to prepare meals. Unlike traditional stoves that rely on heating coils, induction uses magnetism to heat metal cookware directly. This method is incredibly fast, boiling water in as little as 90 seconds!
Induction stoves are 15-20% more energy-efficient than traditional electric stoves. Up to 90% of the heat produced is utilized for cooking, ensuring less waste compared to regular stoves.
Induction stoves offer precise temperature control, even better than gas stoves.
Many models allow you to adjust the heat with dials like traditional stoves while others give you even more precise control by allowing the temperature to be adjusted in increments of 5-10 degrees like an oven!
Induction stoves prioritize kitchen safety. There are no open flames or red-hot coils, reducing the risk of fires and burn injuries. The cooktop surface stays cooler and cools down faster after cooking.
Induction stoves and cooktops don’t turn on unless compatible cookware is detected on the surface, and they automatically turn off when the cookware is removed.
Induction stoves don’t rely on gas, so no harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide or formaldehyde are released into your home. You also eliminate the risk of gas leaks which can be hazardous and harmful to your health.
Replacing fossil fuel burning appliances with electric ones paves the way to a sustainable future. Powering them with San Diego Community Power’s renewable energy ensures ongoing emission reductions, promoting a cleaner and healthier community.
Efficient electric appliances use three to five times less electricity for the same tasks, saving you money on energy bills. They efficiently heat water, cool or heat homes by moving heat, and cook food more efficiently and precisely by generating heat directly in the cookware.
Switching to electric stoves eliminates open flames, reducing the risk of kitchen fires and injuries. Induction stoves produce heat in the cookware, eliminating hot stovetop surfaces. Going electric also eliminates the risk of gas leaks, which can be hazardous during natural disasters like earthquakes or wildfires.
Switching to electric appliances improves indoor air quality. Gas appliances release harmful pollutants linked to respiratory problems, cardiovascular conditions, asthma and cancer.
If you’re not ready to make the switch, don’t worry. Minimize exposure to air pollutants with proper ventilation. Turn on the hood or open a window when using the stove, and ensure proper venting for the furnace and water heater.