Electrify your home
One of the major sources of green house gas emissions is the natural gas (methane) that 90% of us in California use to heat our water and our homes. If we are going to reduce our emissions and have a livable planet, we will have to change out our natural gas infrastructure for electricity.
Currently, in San Francisco, for example, natural gas accounts for about 35% of our green house gas emissions.
The technology already exists. Electric heat pumps can heat (and cool) your home and can heat your water. They are more efficient than gas, so they use less energy.
Heat pumps do not create air and particulate pollution in your home since there is no combustion of gas, and if you have 100% renewable electricity from your local provider, they will be virtually emission free.
Your gas appliances–typically your stove and dryer–can also be replaced with electric models. Most people are reluctant to give up their gas stoves. Today’s electric models are not the same as the old electric stoves of the 1970s. (Thank goodness!) These induction stoves are extremely efficient, and work as well, if not better than gas. See articles below.
The Ecology Center in Berkeley has some great resources on the electrification of residential buildings. Visit the page here and scroll to the Electrification section to check them out.
Article: But what about my gas stove?
Article: Consumer reports weighs in on induction (electric) stoves and cooktops.
Article: David Roberts, a generally reliable voice on climate issues, writes about trying to electrify his house some years
ago. It has gotten a little easier since then.
ELECTRIFY YOUR CITY
Cities are beginning to act to ban natural gas in new building. See this article about Berkeley’s recently enacted ban.
San Francisco has said it will enact such a ban. First the SF Dept. of the Environment is putting together work groups to study banning natural gas in new building. Sign our petition to show your support for such a ban as soon as possible.
Thinking about solar? Intimidated by all the options, by the sales people coming to your door or accosting you at the hardware store? Knowledge is your friend. Here are some resources to get you started:
- Try EnergySage. They’ve got information about the basics, financing, cost benefit, batteries, the whole sunny enchilada. They’ve also got a solar calculator that will give you the pop in your address and average monthly electric bill and bing-bang-boom, you’ve got an estimate of how much solar you could generate and projected savings.
- Google Project SunRoof – Do you know if you have a good solar roof?
Retrofitting for Energy Savings
- One family’s savings (in Canada!)