Builder – June 2019

The Battle of the Home Energy Sources: Gas vs. Electric

For builders of net zero energy homes, going all electric is the obvious route. “This is the future,” says Anthony Maschmedt, principal of Seattle-based Dwell Development, who stopped installing gas lines for his projects at the end of 2016. “We don’t want to support the use of fossil fuels, it’s not as healthy, and it’s much easier to do your energy modeling,” because builders don’t have to do separate calculations for natural gas to figure out a home’s total energy usage.

Even before the switch, Maschmedt had built about 250 homes in the Seattle area that met Zero Energy Ready levels, a high-performance building program from the Department of Energy, and followed Passive House requirements for a heavily insulated, extremely tight building envelope. “We found that our homes were so tight, just having the pilot light on for a gas fireplace would overheat the home, so we stopped installing them,” he says.

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