There Aren’t Enough Electricians to Electrify America
With climate law putting pressure on American homes to install electric car chargers and electric heat pumps, suddenly there is an unsettling lack of electricians able to take on the increased workload. Across the nation, including here in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut, electricians are struggling to keep up with the rising demand – many are booked out for months in advance and facing labor shortages that are leading the industry to raise their prices and their wages, adding more barriers for Americans to access these electrical services. Keep reading to learn more about the country’s growing demand for electrification, pressures facing the industry and American homes, as well as other clean energy alternatives available through FSi Oil and Propane that can make a huge impact today.
The Insurmountable Electrification Demand
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal released an article titled “America Is Trying to Electrify. There Aren’t Enough Electricians” in which the author Amrith Ramkumar detailed some of the issues facing electricians and their industry. One of these issues is the overwhelming demand for their services and inability to take on the rising number of customers. In addition to this, many businesses are having difficulty hiring new electricians due to labor shortages and a highly competitive job market causing wages to rise significantly.
Labor Shortages in the Electrical Industry are Increasing
Unfortunately, many young people are more inclined to pursue a four-year degree than join a trade school to become certified electricians. In addition to that, it’s expected that in the next decade, a portion of the electrical workforce will reach retirement age, which could further shrink the population of working electricians in the United States. Overall, this will mean that access to electrical services may become even more difficult to secure. Estimated costs for large projects such as electric heat pump conversions will rise exorbitantly as a result and render many American homes unable to afford such services with the direction that the market is headed.
American Homes Are Not Wired for Increased Electrical Power
Besides the decreasing number of available electricians, there is another factor to consider: the state of many American homes. In an article written for Grist describing similar issues facing the state of California in the wake of clean energy initiatives, the author explains that “The problem is, most houses aren’t wired to handle the load from electric heating, cooking, and clothes dryers, along with solar panels and vehicle chargers. Rewiring America, a nonprofit that conducts research and advocacy on electrification, estimates that some 60 to 70 percent of single-family homes will need to upgrade to bigger or more modern electrical panels to accommodate a fully electrified house,” (Pontecorvo, 2023). 
Simply put, many homes do not have the capability to support an entirely electric-powered lifestyle. And without being able to book affordable electrical services to update electrical panels, Americans face the risk of overloading their electrical circuits more frequently. The current electrical infrastructure in our country may also be under stress with rising demands for electrical power, leading to rolling blackouts and causing American homes to lose power (and heat) when they need it most.
Too Much Work, Too Few Electricians
Each day, electrical companies are bombarded with new customer inquiries that far exceed their available workforce. When these companies can take on new clients, they face scheduling conflicts that can result in the project taking months to complete. Electricians will often turn down work and instead refer prospective customers to competing companies. The unexpected consequence seems to be that the intense volume of inquiries for electrical work such as major installations and conversions is beginning to cause electricians to be unable to perform emergency electrical services and repairs at all.  This poses a safety risk to electric consumers who need to keep their homes running, especially in extreme winter temperatures that are common in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut.
Is Electricity Truly “Clean Energy”?
Despite clean energy initiatives championing electricity as the energy source of the future, many fail to acknowledge that not all electricity is created using renewable methods. In fact, only 19% of the electricity in the United States is produced by renewable energy sources. The rest is produced from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum). Is switching to electricity worth the pricey conversion costs and struggling to find an available electrician in your area? It’s important to take these facts into consideration when determining if going fully electric is the right move for you and your family.
Related Post: The Questionable Environmental Impact of Electrification
Renewable Fuels Such as Propane and Bioheat® Fuel Offer a Reliable Alternative
Unlike electricity, local fuel providers in your area offer greater reliability and more assured access to expert home comfort services when you need them most. At FSi Oil and Propane, your HVAC systems are our top priority and keeping them fueled and maintained is what we do best. Plus, the fueling options we offer are clean, renewable, and can help you lower your carbon footprint now. Propane, for instance, has one-third the operating costs of electric heat and is a clean-burning fuel source that can power many of your home appliances for even greater convenience. In addition to propane, we also supply Bioheat® fuel which is made from a recycled, renewable, and sustainable blend of agricultural by-products and used cooking oils to effectively heat MA and CT homes. Unlike electric heat, both propane and heating oil can be stored on your property, giving you a greater sense of home safety, protection, and peace of mind, especially when you rely on FSi’s automatic oil and propane delivery services to keep your home fueled all year long.
Related Post: Why is Propane Considered a “Green” Fuel Source?
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Bioheat® Oil or Propane from FSi
FSi Oil and Propane provides renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly Bioheat® oil and propane delivery to our neighbors and friends in the Greater Springfield, MA area. We pride ourselves on treating all of our customers with the same level of care, safety, and respect. In addition to our fuel delivery services, we also offer HVAC service and expert installations, water treatment, SmartPay Payment Programs and HVAC Service Plans. Get in contact with us today to learn more about how you can reduce your carbon footprint with one of our environmentally friendly fuels or click here to become a customer today!
[1.] Wall Street Journal, “America Is Trying to Electrify. There Aren’t Enough Electricians,” 2023.
[2.] Grist, “To get off fossil fuels, America is going to need a lot more electricians,” 2023.