Pecan Street’s new analysis explores the opportunities for policymakers and utilities to remove a significant barrier to residential electrification. By incentivizing electric service panel upgrades for existing homes and requiring larger capacity panels for new construction, we can clear the path for full residential electrification.
To undertake this analysis, Pecan Street built a model using its residential research network data that shows how much electricity individual appliances and homes use. The model allows us to simulate the incremental additions of individual electric appliances and compares them to the minimum electric panel size required by the electric code. We developed the model as a web tool to accompany the whitepaper that allows users to calculate home electrification scenarios with differing electric panel capacities.
Electric panel size is typically determined by the calculation method found in the National Electric Code (NEC) Article 220.40 or 220.80. In the tool below, panel size is calculated for 263 homes from Pecan Street’s testbed. The homes are arranged by color according to their electric panel size and you can hover over them to see each home’s square footage. The home’s actual square footage is used to calculate how much amperage is still available in its electric panel based on the mix of appliances and loads you select in the tool. By adjusting the mix and size of the electric loads on the left, the homes move along the Y-axis of the chart. If a home falls below zero on the chart it would likely require an electric panel upgrade according to the NEC before adding additional electric appliances.