Whether by choice or by need, homeowners all reach a point where we remodel and renovate our homes. Particularly in towns like Seattle and Tacoma, where there are a lot of old, historic homes, remodeling is often a need. When remodeling your home, one of the most important considerations is your electrical system. Particularly if you’re expanding your home and adding square footage, electricity consumption needs to be closely evaluated. Here is some of what you should know before you start!

Take Inventory

Before you start your remodel, take an inventory of your energy consumption. You can do this by checking your electrical billing statements which will have your wattage. You’ll first want to take an entire year’s worth and compare them as energy consumption changes with the seasons. Next, compare years past to see how much more energy you use now compared to years ago. Do this by comparing months. This January, compared to the January of last year, and five years ago, etc. We expect it’s gone up! This way you can plan for the future as your energy use continues to grow. Note that energy use tends to grow exponentially, not linearly!

Adding Square Footage: Electricity Consumption

A big consideration in renovating your home or office is the additional energy consumption you’ll use. More square footage means more light, more heat, and more air filtration. These costs vary, but we can estimate. For office buildings, annual energy consumption averages around $1.69 per square foot. In Washington state specifically, residential homes average around $0.60 per square foot annually, significantly less than commercial buildings. Let’s assume that you’re adding an additional 500 square feet to your home. In this case, you can expect to see an increase of roughly $300 per year in electric bills. A more accurate estimate, however, will be found using the electricity inventory you previously took. It’s also important to note that many utility companies in Washington use tiered costs for power. The more you use, the higher amount you will end up paying per kilowatt. Therefore, that $300 may increase significantly depending on your usage. Before the remodel, make sure you speak with an electrical contractor about your total added energy consumption so that you can estimate your monthly costs.

Electrical System Renovations

One of the advantages of remodeling is that it presents a great opportunity to inspect your home’s internal systems. Depending on your home’s age, the wiring may have not been checked for some time. Old, corroded wiring is one of the biggest safety and fire hazards in your home. As technology advances and our homes become smarter, our electrical needs grow. Old wiring sometimes just cannot keep up. Renovations are a great opportunity to have your entire home rewired! Not only will you keep your home safe, but you’ll be updated for your current and future electrical needs. 

If you’re on the cusp of a remodel and haven’t thought about your electrical or HVAC needs, we’d love to help you out! Start by checking our promotions page as we offer discounts to those who serve our community and country. Contact our team with questions or to see how we can help. We’d be honored!