Winchester's approach to reducing and eventually eliminating carbon pollution is to electrify everything, especially buildings and transportation. The three key steps a homeowner (or renter or landlord) can take to eliminate carbon pollution are:

  1. Make your home energy efficient;
  2. Electrify everything - heat, hot water, cooking, clothes drying, yard equipment; and
  3. Use only renewable electricity to power everything.

Specific steps to take include replacing gas and oil furnaces and boilers with highly-efficient electric heat pumps. Replace gas stoves with induction ranges. Replace gas clothes dryers with heat pump or electric dryers. Replace gas powered lawn and yard equipment with battery powered equipment. Generous financial incentives for many of these systems and appliances are available through the Massachusetts's Mass Save program.

Electrification Resources
An excellent resource about all-electric alternatives for your home is the Mass Clean Energy Center's Clean Energy Lives Here website. The website includes a downloadable guide, Introduction to the Clean Energy Home, which can be a handy reference guide as you work to electrify your home and eliminate carbon pollution.

Additional excellent sources of information specifically for heat pumps are the HeatSmart Alliance website, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership's Air Source Heat Pump Buying Guide, and this video from the Green Energy Consumers Alliance explaining the "What, Where and How Much" of heat pumps. If you are ready to contact heat pump installers to get quotes, the Mass Save program maintains a Heat Pump Installer Network (a list of installers) here.

Financial Incentives
Fortunately, there are significant financial incentives available for homeowners to make the switch to an all-electric home. Incentives range as high as $15,000 for a ground source heat pump home heating system, with lower but still substantial incentives for a variety of other heating systems and appliances. Click here to view current Mass Save incentives. Federal tax incentives are also available, including a $2,000 tax credit for heat pump installation. This White House website provides a clear overview of federal tax incentives for electrification and energy efficiency. You can also download this IRS fact sheet for more information.

Renewable Electricity
Electrifying your home is a key step to reduce carbon. Another key step is to ensure the electricity supplied to your home is generated by carbon-free sources like solar, wind, and hydro-power. The good news is that in Winchester, it is simple for homeowners to switch to carbon-free electricity by enrolling in the Town of Winchester's renewable electricity program, WinPower, at the 100% renewable level. You can do so by clicking on this link.

Another way to supply your home with renewable electricity is by going solar - either by installing solar panels on your roof or by joining a community solar program. Learn more about Solar in Winchester.