Bedford’s Housing Market: A More Sustainable, Energy Efficient Future

David Bernstein, owner of Bernstein Development, is constructing the first purpose-built modern all-electric home in town. Photo by David Bernstein

Submitted by Emily Prince, who is a member of the Town of Bedford Energy & Sustainability Committee.

The Bedford housing market is evolving to include sustainable, energy efficient homes that will help mitigate the most harmful impacts of climate change. An electric vehicle charging station, induction stove, air source heat pumps, energy efficient air exchangers, solar panel capability, and air-tight insulation are features of two homes currently under construction in Bedford.  

David Bernstein, owner of Bernstein Development, a Bedford based real estate development company, is constructing the first purpose-built modern all-electric home in town.  Bernstein provided a comprehensive tour of the energy efficient home underway at 5 Dutton Lane to a few members of the Energy & Sustainability Committee. He is building a second all-electric home at 25 Maxwell Rd.  

Fully electric homes do not rely on fossil fuels for cooking, heating, cooling, or dryer use, so they are considered sustainable and can be fully or partially powered by self-generated solar, provided solar panels are installed on the house or property. Due to the air-tight insulation and heat pump efficiency, utility costs will be noticeably lower than a comparable home lacking such features.  

Energy efficient heat pumps can help mitigate the most harmful impacts of climate change. Photo by David Bernstein

Reduced utility costs will offset the nominally higher equipment costs for the homeowner while also being climate friendly.  Below are several pictures of the energy efficient heat pumps: 

Additionally, the new homes will feature induction stoves which have several benefits. An induction stovetop reaches desired temperatures quickly and evenly distributes the heat, resulting in more efficient cooking.  It is also a safer, healthier option than gas stoves, as there is no risk of gas leaks and toxic emissions, yielding healthier indoor air quality.  

Do not despair if you do not want to move, but would like an energy-efficient home. Homes powered by fossil fuels can easily be retrofitted at lower than market cost, thanks to Mass Save, a state-sponsored program that offers incentives and rebates to homeowners who would like to make climate friendly home improvements. 

Visit to schedule a no-cost home energy assessment and to learn more about ways you can save money while improving your home’s energy efficiency.  

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Ben Bennett
March 21, 2023 7:52 am

The house we are building is all electric if you want a tour. It’s geothermal heat and coolingwith solar. Induction cooktop and car chargers. It should be able to entirely offset the usage by what we generate.

However, since it’s all electric, the peak electrical load could be high if we run everything at once, so we need 400A service. And the code changed three years ago to move a metal panel inside the box. And no conforming meter has been manufactured since the change, and according to the factory, won’t be made for four to six months.

We have the a panel that conforms to the old code, but Beford’s electrical inspector will not allow it to be used, although surrounding town inspections will.

This is problematic if we want to encourage the widespread adoption of electric houses quickly, as we must of we want to try to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

I encourage the committee to consider the systemic challenges that make it hard to build all electric and see if the process can be smoothed. Otherwise, the uncertainty makes it too risky for a builder, and they would just opt for the known path of natural gas.

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