An electric service panel (also known as a “breaker box” or “breaker panel”) tends to be out of sight, out of mind for the average customer. E Source’s market research indicates that when a customer wants to electrify their home, upgrading their service panel is rarely considered because they may not realize their home needs an upgrade.
Electrifying existing homes isn’t always a simple or straightforward process. In making the switch to electric appliances by replacing gas-fired equipment, some homes may or may not need a panel upgrade to accommodate the increase in power demand from in-home technologies. Those that do need an upgrade may include homes with 100- and 125-amp panels, which are common in homes built in the 1970’s or earlier. (Note: an amp is a measure of how fast electricity moves).
While there are challenges, there is a strong need to improve the customer experience as more people adopt clean electric technologies.
As part of this study – aimed at helping remove barriers and minimize added costs, complexity, and time for the panel upgrade process – E Source surveyed 10 utility representatives and identified best practices and recommendations to significantly improve existing processes. Ensuring that these best practices are adopted broadly will take more than utility buy-in and investment, and also require policy makers within the legislative and regulatory spaces to recognize the need and support these measures.