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Insurance companies abandoning California at a faster rate, as wildfires wreak havoc

by Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee


Highlights

  • Deputy Insurance Commissioner Bryant Henley announced that insurance companies have dropped many Californians in the Sierra foothills after the 2017 and 2018 wildfire season resulted in losses of $25 billion for those companies
  • 42,088 homeowners were sent non-renewal in the foothill counties in 2019 and had to purchase replacement coverage at double or triple their original insurance costs, many on the California FAIR Plan
  • Enrollees of the California FAIR Plan, the state’s “insurer of last resort,” jumped from 140,000 in 2018 to over 200,000 this August
  • Industry officials say climate change and other factors are making increasingly large swaths of California almost uninsurable and affordable insurance will be less easy to obtain as fire seasons intensify 

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Read More: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/fires/article246561448.html

Electricity alone powers one quarter of U.S. homes

by Ingrid Lobet, Inews Source

Recently we reported that for climate reasons, some environmental groups are starting to advocate for all-electric homes. Those are homes in which all the appliances including heaters, hot water heaters and stoves run on electricity, not natural gas.

When it is burned, or particularly if it leaks out unburned, natural gas contributes to climate change. The electricity we get from the grid, on the other hand, is getting cleaner every year, with more solar and wind power.

It turns out one out of every four homes in the United States already is all-electric, according to data from the most recent household energy survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That includes rented and owned homes, single and multifamily.

It was the 14th time the agency did the survey. It selected 5,686 households as representative of four census regions and the entire country. It gathered the information three ways: through in-person interviews with trained employees, online, or on paper.

The highest proportion of electric-only homes is in the South – 44 percent. These homes aren’t necessarily better for the climate because much of the electricity across that region comes from burning coal. In the West, which comes in a distant second, 17 percent of homes are electric-only. The EIA notes the proportion is rising nationwide. The steepest increase was in the Midwest, where the share of electric only homes rose from 9 to 13 percent, a 44 percent increase over the decade from 2005 to 2015.

Professional Builder magazine highlighted this all-electric home back in 2013.

No one could immediately say why more homes are getting built this way.

An EIA analyst didn’t wish to speculate. The National Association of Home Builders and four of the nation’s largest homebuilding companies did not respond by deadline. A representative for Lennar said the company had no comment. One heating contractor said his apartment owner clients had been moving away from natural gas in rental units because they believed it was riskier than electricity.

Occupants of all-electric homes, however, may find they are at the mercy of utility rates more than people who have both gas and electricity. Increasingly, utilities charge people based on time of use. You may be able to control what time you do laundry, run a dishwasher or charge an electric car. But heat and hot water tend to be needed at certain times. If your heat and hot water run on gas, then it doesn’t matter when you use them. But if they run on electricity, the electric bill may come as a shock.

source: https://inewsource.org/2017/09/26/electricity-one-quarter-homes-all-electric/