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Heating With Electricity

Heating with electricity peaked in the late 1950’s. Heating with electricity was originally limited to space heating. That is, heating specific areas of a home with electricity. By 1965, California began the trend toward electrically heated homes known as “Gold Medallion All-Electric Homes”. These homes were constructed with total electric heating and included individual heating thermostats in each room of the home. This was intended to affect a savings on electrical heating costs. Heating with electricity has the status of being the cleanest form of energy.

Heating With Electricity – Economically Feasible?
As time passed, the thought of heating with electricity rose in popularity. At the close of the 1980’s, the cost to generate enough kilowatts to heat a single home more than tripled, making the cost to heat with electricity spiral out of control. Several things contributed to this. Originally, in the 1950’s, the US government began a program of increasing the number of hydroelectric dams which spurred interest in heating with electricity. When dam construction was halted, supply of electricity grew more high-priced. In addition, lobbying interests encouraged a switch to natural gas reinforced by natural gas utilities and environmentalists.

Heating With Electricity Today
In addition to the request for greener energy, the use of electricity for heating today has been relegated largely to radiant heating from space heaters and generators. However, though the use of these types of heating units may decrease the cost of heating with electricity to a lesser degree, there is a potential danger of overheating of the units which then become excessively hot and prone to igniting. A better choice of heating with electricity is a convection heater, which simply means that the air nearest the heating element heats rising air with buoyant streams of air that are filtered through the openings of the unit.

Heating With Electricity And The Cost To The Environment
One of the leading arguments of heating with electricity is whether the supply can meet the volume of demand placed on electrical grid systems that provide electricity. When demand is high, the past experience has been brown outs and black outs when the grid systems were running at peak demand. Since electricity is based on the use of fossil fuel energy, the cost to the environment of constant reliance upon electricity rather than alternative energy with less environmental impact is prohibitive.

Heating Homes and Buildings With Electricity Exclusively

Commonly, the cost of heating with electricity in homes and buildings is exclusively dependent on the cost of the raw materials that produce electricity. On average, the cost differential is one-third higher than that of natural gas or oil heating in homes. This is also dependent on how close the home or business is located to an electrical grid system that carries the electricity to the site. Fossil fuel deposits are limited and continuous research into new areas of drilling and production is costly to support expansive electricity usage. This principal concern is the effect on the environment in terms of leachate into groundwater from surface pockets of fossil fuel and from spill or damage to drilling sites from natural causes or accidents.