Though it may seem insignificant, the emissions from gas-powered gardening and landscaping tools are a major contributor to health and climate issues. Luckily, with the lower prices for batteries and more efficient motors, electric-powered lawn care tools are disrupting what used to be a gas dominant industry. Between just 2015 and 2020 alone, electric lawn care tools jumped from roughly 32% to 44% of the overall market. This transition will help clean our air, protect our climate and reduce noise pollution.
For a prime example, look at leaf blowers. Gas-powered leaf blowers are notorious emitters, producing hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and particulate matter, all of which harm people’s health. In fact, a two-stroke leaf blower (requiring a gas/oil mixture) tested by one study emitted as many hydrocarbons in just 30 minutes as would be produced by driving a Ford F-150 truck from Texas to Alaska! Meanwhile, electric leaf blowers can be just as effective without contributing any direct air pollutants.
You can also look at other gas-powered lawn care tools, like lawn mowers, chainsaws and trimmers. Each requires users to pour in gas or a mixture of gas and oil, something many are inexperienced in doing, leading to spills. Now, while spilling a little bit of gas here and there seems like no big deal, if you mow your lawn 30 times a year and spill just a half a cup of gas each time, that adds up to almost a gallon a year. Aggregating nationwide, you get a substantial gas spill happening each year.
This gas evaporates into the surrounding air, accelerating climate change and causing dangerous levels of air pollution. Meanwhile, electric lawn care tools don’t cause any spills or any direct emissions, except for noise, and even in that domain, they are typically much quieter than their gas-powered counterparts.
While different levels of government have proposed tax credits or rebates for the purchase of electric lawn care tools (or have suggested banning gas-powered versions outright), there are currently no such incentives available for Delaware residents. That is where Powering Our Future comes in. We want to encourage residents and organizations to make the switch, and will thus offer any household, business or nonprofit within New Castle County a $50 rebate* for a verified purchase of an electric leaf blower, lawn mower and / or other lawn care tool. Submit a rebate request here.
*NOTE: Each household, business or nonprofit is limited to one lawn care tool rebate (however, multiple tools are eligible for rebate if bought together). There are a limited number of rebates allocated each quarter, with priority given to households within our current service area.