2023-8-21 “Ask Sean Show” CHAT, USED FOR Q&A.


HYDRONIC HEATING (hot water baseboard and radiators)

Timothy:    Can I convert a oil burning boiler hot water baseboard heating to electric system utilizing the latest

Joannr:Reacted to "Can I convert a oil ..." with 👍

Joannr:? about converting gas boiler hot water baseboard system.

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ): One hybrid idea to incorporate your old high temperature (180F) water baseboard convectors is to put a small (2 ton) heat pump on the hydronic distribution loop at about 120F and add another (1-2 ton) single head mini split ductless heat pump head unit in a large room.   Together the 3-4 tons might be able to keep up with your heating.  (You’d need to work with your HVAC designer to explore the merits.)



Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ): @ Karen, I tend to recommend first seeing if you can make a plan to use efficient right sized appliances to avoid having to upsize the electric panel.

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ): @ Karen, This free guide can help you plan to avoid an electric panel upsizing.  https://www.redwoodenergy.net/research/a-pocket-guide-to-all-electric-retrofits-of-single-family-homes




Ethan: Cost of electricity is high in comparison to cost of “natural gas” in Idaho.  The rebates help with converting to electric heat, but not defray the cost gap in the power itself…is anything being done to address this?

Winston:    As our ability to harness renewable energy gets better, the cost of electricity will drop

Siobhan (shiv-vawn):   Reacted to "As our ability to ha..." with ❤️

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ): @ Ethan, States manage the structure of gas and electric rates.  So you can ask your state utilities commission about it.  In Calif. our commission is forecasting rising gas delivery costs as the flow through the gas pipes is reduced via fighting climate change.

Tom( Calif. Energy Engineer ): You can ask your state commission…

Steve: In NJ, gas prices and electric prices vary significantly across the various gas and electric utilities. Currently (per research reports) in most of NJ, electric heat pumps have lower seasonal operating costs than gas space heating. Those homeowners currently choosing "Community Solar" can have heat pumps with an additional 20% advantage over gas. The future clearly favors electric  heat pumps  as the lowest cost heating solution because:



Ethan: Our home is in a shady area, and rooftop solar is not an option, other options for home energy generation in a semi-urban area?

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):    For folks in shady locations or for renters, you can explore purchasing “Community Solar” that is centrally located solar that has solar output share credits applied to your own electric utility bill.   Different states have different policies on it.

Steve:  NJ Community Solar is currently readily available, and priced about 20% less than price of the electric utility (this makes electric even more attractive than gas comparisons discussed in abovesection "Cost of Electricity Vs Gas"




wayne:I understand that you need a battery in order to use solar power if the grid goes down.  Will you be able to use your solar to power your home if the grid is down using your EV's battery?

Steve: Likely. Products would be designed to meet new standard interfaces between EV, house, solar and grid. 

Tracy: I can't drive, and I'm never going to buy a car.  Isn't there some other reasonable option?

Susan:How long can a vehicle battery power a house?  After Sandy I was without power for 9 days.

Brian: What about the Rivian pick-up? Is it the same?




May:  What heat pump would you recommend for upstate NY in Binghamton or Syracuse temps get below zero?

Steve: Exclusively  use "cold climate" heat pumps for such cold locations (this is a classification of Energy Star performance, and published test specs by NEEP)



Ethan: What about hospitals?  I’m working on our hospital sustainability committee and would love to take advantage of IRA $$ to reduce our emissions/improve efficiency. 

Steve: The NJ BPU will be writing the rebate rules, based on the federal framework.  You might request the NJ BPU include hospitals in rebate rules! (call the NJ BPU President for a contact)

Steve: Replying to "Any ETA on when rebates will be here"

Within the last month, the NJ BPU ("Energy Office") and Energy Offices of all the other states received final directions  from the federal government on handling the MANY rebate programs under the IRA. Now, each state needs to develop their plans, per the directions, and reply back to the feds with their proposals.  Once NJ (and other states) develop their plans, and then the feds approve the plans, only then can  NJ & other states rollout rebate programs in the following  months.  Plan on 2024 for appliance rebates, and you wont be disappointed.

Timothy: thanks for the explanation Sean. I'll need to listen to the recording to confirm all the information provided.

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):  Here’s a link to the guide:   https://www.redwoodenergy.net/research/a-pocket-guide-to-all-electric-retrofits-of-single-family-homes

Christine:  Thanks!


PRIORITIES:  (plan ahead; replace before emergency occurs)

Ruth, New Jersey: I have a heat pump and a plug-in hybrid.  I get all renewable electricity from a third party provider. Possible next steps include replacing an old electric water heater with a heat pump water heater or replacing a gas clothes dryer with an electric dryer.  Which should I do first?

Tom  ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):  @ Ruth, At my house the water heater is more critical, so I changed it out when it was still going strong.  (Other people try to wait till it dies, but then you get whatever the plumber has on the truck.)  We could go for weeks just line drying our clothes if our dryer gave out.

Gabriel :   I installed an 80gal hot water heater RHEEM heat pump Proterra hybrid in my basement and keeps it nice and cool, esp in summer.

 ( Calif. Energy Engineer ): Replying to "I installed an 80gal..."

I put in a heat pump water heater and a side benefit is that it also dehumidifies my basement as a side benefit.

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):    Reacted to "I installed an 80gal..." with 👍



Ila : How can houses of worship take advantage of the IRA incentives?  How do they get started?

Pat : Replying to "How can houses of wo..."The IRS is creating a new return type for non-profits to file a tax return only for the purpose of claiming a tax credit.

Replying to "How does a house of worship use IRA tax credits..."

On June 14,2023, the U.S. Dept of Treasury and IRS released this press release:  https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1533: “The Inflation Reduction Act allows tax-exempt and governmental entities to receive elective payments for 12clean energy tax credits, including the major Investment and Production Taxcredits, as well as tax credits for electric vehicles and charging stations”  It also describes mechanisms to facilitate money transfer directly to the non-profit.  I think we need  a non-profit to follow these guide lines, and then publicize to all other non-profits on the details and resulting success!     I haven’t yet found a description of what IRA REBATES  are provided to churches. (this may depend heavily on states; details on NJ rebates are (internally) beginning to be defined  but we don’t expect rebates until later this year into 2024.

Ray : Since you were talking about appliances, any news on rebates for them?

Ila Vassallo:    Replying to "How can houses of wo…"

@Pat Miller Thanks.  Do you know when this will be available or how to get more info?

Pat Miller: Replying to "How can houses of wo..."

Don't know, but it applies to 2023 taxes, so maybe beginning of next year.




Ed :  I own a trilevel with hot water heater in bottom level. I want to get a HPWH, probably hybrid. Will it cool the level too much? Noise?

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):    Replying to "I own a trilevel wit..."

It depends on how much how water you use.  And the cooling is usually during the 2-3 hours after using a bunch of hot water.  Mine drops the basement temperature by a couple of degrees for a couple of hours with a 2 person house.

Mark: https://www.dsireusa.org/

Ed :  Replying to "I own a trilevel wit..."

Thanks! Only 2 of us in the house so thinking 50 gallon heater. Opinion about noise level?

Steve:  The latest model AOSmith may currently be the only HPWH with a noise spec (49dBA - VERY low). With any HPWH where noise could be a problem, follow installation directions to avoid noise via conduction of vibration of the heat pump.  Isolate metal air in/out pipes via flex piping to avoid vibrating metal touching or attaching to nearby walls, place a rubber floor mat under the drip pan; install flexible electrical conduit with a longer loop instead of shortest routing.



Ray : Can you compare air source vs ground source heatpumps, re efficiancy and cost?

Steve: see data in https://evolvedthermal.com/ground-source-vs-air-source-heat-pump/

   This shows a ground source heat pump will have higher annual efficiency and therefore lower annual operating cost than an air source heat pump.



Kevin Dougherty: What is the lower-temperature limit where an air-source heat pump (in my case, a ductless mini-split system) is no longer able to effectively heat your house and act in place of a gas furnace?

Steve: The temperature you described is called the "balance point" for a specific heat pump and a specific house. It depends upon how well a house is weatherized/insulated.  If the house heat loss is known, then the balance point can be calculated from examination of specs for a selected heat pump.  From my evaluation of available heat pumps and costs, I selected a Rheem 3 ton air source heat pump (lowest cost <$5K single speed- older traditional design using existing central forced hot air). I sent out requests for bid for this, or equivalent, to 8 HVAC vendors for my house first floor.  This application had a pre-install calculated balance point (and actal resulting post-install measured balance point) of between 20 and 22 degrees F.



Index to IRA info and summary (2023-5-info recording; 1 page summary; explanation)

Michael :   Replying to "Since you were talki..."

Google rebates and tax credits under the IRA - if you are in NJ go to your local electric or natural gas utility

Brian:      Replying to "Since you were talki..."

I would have liked much more specific information on rebates for New Jersey residents for appliances, hot water heaters and mini-splits than "Google it". The teaser in the email for tonight's presentation was "Interested In Using IRA Tax Credits and Rebates to Go Electric?"
Steve: Full IRA info was provided in the May, 2023 Building Electrification webinar, links are shown in this chat. We did not intend to mislead.  Rather the limited time in tonight case study report was to use the knowledge of rebates and tax incentives as an additional sweetener to implement the stages of electrification/decarbonization.

Michael Winka: Replying to "Any ETA on when reba..."Steve is right but there are state incentive - google your local electric and/or natural gas utility - the federal rebates are for low to medium income customers and as Steve mention the BPU needs to apply (for rebates) but over LMI are tax credits which are available now

Mark: The Database of state incentives is where you can find all the rebates etc for your state. Click on your state in the map

Michael: Replying to "Since you were talki..."https://www.energy.gov/lpo/inflation-reduction-act-2022     https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/home-energy-tax-credits

Michael : Replying to "Since you were talki..."

All the electric and natural gas utilities are required to develop building electrification plans that will be available july 1 2024 but there are some heat pump incentive through the electric utilities PSE&G, JCP&L ACE and RECo

Michael :   Replying to "The Database of stat..."  Mark if you are in NJ go to www.njcleanenergy.com and it will direct you to the appropriate utility for available incentives

Mark: Replying to "The Database of stat..."

Michael been there  done that. This webinar is not giving  participants the information they signed up for

Steve: see a 75 minute talk (including Q&A) on the IRA in the 2023-5-18 Building Electrification webinar: https://youtu.be/8bsdvDjO9Kk; slides1 ; slides 2

 The slides and other info are indexed: https://climate.smiller.org/50x30/building-electrification/All-heat-pump-webinars.html

See this one page summary of current NJ utility rebates, current IRA tax credits, and future IRA rebates:



The following provides a guide to the above one page summary of all rebates and tax incentives:





Ray : Can you send out the links and recording to the participants.  So much info, need to review in more detail so I can figure out what improvements to make, esp with rebates.

Steve: 400 recent references are categorized into many heat pump and building electrification topics: https://climate.smiller.org/REF/

Tristan : Useful links: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator

Tristan : Electrification planner: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/my-home/planner

Tristan : Why Electrify: https://homes.rewiringamerica.org

Mark : Rewiring America does not tell you where you can find the incentives It's only a calculator

Tristan : Here’s Sean’s guide: https://www.redwoodenergy.net/research/a-pocket-guide-to-all-electric-retrofits-of-single-family-homes

Tristan : @Mark Yuschak Steve has a cool spreadsheet that we can put in the chat too!

Mark :  drop the spreadsheet in the chat 

Betty : How can I save the chat for the links?

Mark : To save chats copy and paste into a word doc or other

Betty : I think I just found the three dots at the bottom of the chat.

Sean :  https://www.jaga-canada.com/products/efficient-convectors/

Tristan:Glad you did Betty! Steve will send a follow-up email with the details and links

Gabriel :AND put as space adder the copied LIBK to make it active (blue)

Brian :  I just feel the NJ Sierra Club should give much more specific info for New Jersey residents on rebates.

Betty : Thanks, Tristan!

Tristan : See Steve Miller’s one page summary of Building Electrification portions of the current and anticipated NJ rebates and federal tax credits:


Tristan: @Mark  let me know if this helps!

Tristan : Also I have checked with my CPA on the tax incentives etc.

Tristan : The DOE has some information too!

Tristan : https://www.energy.gov/scep/home-energy-rebate-program

Tristan : https://www.energy.gov/scep/home-efficiency-rebates

Tristan : https://www.energy.gov/scep/home-electrification-and-appliance-rebates

Tristan : Each state has one guidance too: https://www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/programs/inflation-reduction-act-residential-energy-rebate-programs-california

Tristan : IRAresidentialenergyrebates@energy.ca.gov

Mark Y:  Replying to "@Mark Yuschak let me..."

Got it and I already have this information...thank you. What they should be talking about is; if you're trying to update and convert your home to all electric, they should be talking about the incentives for updating your existing electrical panel

Steve: electrical panel upgrade will hopefully not be necessary.  See category WAYS TO AVOID EXCEEDING ELECTRIC PANEL CAPACITY at top of this document

Tristan :  Utility rebates: https://homeenergy.pseg.com

John Pitts Margate City, NJ: To be clear the Inflation Reduction Act rebates (HEEHRA) are not yet in effect and will/should provide the largest incentives for Heat Pumps.  Not expected to be in effect until 2024.  "Under the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) program, low- to moderate-income households (as defined by your state) could be eligible for up to: $8000 for an electric heat pump $4000 for an electric panel upgrade (if needed to support heat pump upgrades) $2500 for an electric wiring upgrades (if needed to support heat pump upgrades)

Tristan:    See Steve Miller’s one page summary of Building Electrification portions of the current and anticipated NJ rebates and federal tax credits: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10vSXEtbjYZ3fBYhZbBahOLVxXrn82QKHkJGHGTRnvyg/edit?usp=sharing

Tristan: https://www.redwoodenergy.net/watt-diet-calculator

Tristan : We’d be happy to look at your electrification project - just email Steve Miller!

Gabriel : In NJ are BATTERIES necessary to support full roof solar panels?  Or is that needed only in CA where power shut downs are frequent and long?  What about waiting for BATTERIES until Electricity is charged on time of day basis?

Tristan:EMAIL Steve: stevemiller@comcast.net

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):    The $2,000 per year limit on heat pumps encourage you to put in a space heat pump in a different tax year than the water heating heat pump.

Michael Winka: Replying to "In NJ are BATTERIES ..."

No. Batteries are not needed but depending on what you want to do - are helpful if you want to run the solar when the grid is down.  In NJ we have net metering, so the electricity is stored on the grid for you to use

Gabriel: My full roof SPV system has 40 panels for 16 KW.  Do I need battery?  YES we get paid for exporting electricity

Gabriel : Yup you are right.  I got 5 bids for my 16 KW system at 40 panels.  What do you think?  I also got heat pumps, EV, charger, and HP-water heater

Michael: Replying to "In NJ are BATTERIES ..."

Typical homes in NJ use 20 kWh per day[including car charging?] on average so you would need a 7 kw  solar and 20 kwh battery array - in NJ you get the full avoided cost of retail electricity through net metering

Tom ( Calif. Energy Engineer ):    Sean and I agree to disagree on this but I think:  In California under NEM 3 the other utility customers only pay you the wholesale energy savings value (around 7-9 cents/ kWh) of the solar exports (The generation part that exceed your home’s needs).

Ruth , New Jersey:     When is the next show?

Gabriel As: The NJ house has 5 bedrooms and 2 EVs  and 2 heat pumps and 1 Heatpump water heater .  That needs 16KW?

Gabriel :  and room for EXPANSION ???

Gabriel :  Swimming pool in the plans....

Tristan :  Ruth we will be sure to let you know! Right Steve - probably M/T next month!

Michael    Replying to "Sean and I agree to ..."

I agree with Tom at some point full net metering has to go but the utilities need to pay you for generation and not limit the size you can install - currently in NJ you are limited to your average electric energy annual usage

Tristan:   Monday Sept 25th is next “Ask Sean Show”

Joannr:  Looking forward to the recording.

Christine:  Thank you!

Winston :   Thank you!

Betty :     Thank you!!!

Mark :      Thank you!

Ed :  Thank you Sean!

Siobhan :   thanks 😋

Michael :   Thanks

Nick :      Thank you

Tristan :   Thank you all! You have the best questions and amazing comments!!! It takes a village!!!

Sean Armstrong:  Happy to be here! 🙂

Gabriel :   Sean and Steve THANKS !!!

Tristan :   Email us tristan@mansey.com - we need more case studies and success stories!!

Ruth, New Jersey: Thanks for an informative (and entertaining) show!

Timothy :   thanks will be following up



Brian:      You'd likely have to pay insurance for the car though $$$


Joannr:     Sound is going on and out, unfortunately.

William:    Sean, Your sound is muffled.

 (Tristan verbally told Sean to boost his mic level.  Sean apologized and did so)

William:    Your sound is much better now! thanks




1. Volunteer for Sept 25 NJ case studies!! email stevemiller@comcast.net

2. Tell us your electrification success stories11 email Stevemiller@comcast.net

3. NEXT “Ask Sean Show” is Sept 25, 7PM ET