It's Time To Take Electrification Statewide
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Cheryl Weiden is the 350SV Los Altos City Team Lead
Yesterday, September 9, I made the following comments to the California Energy Commission (CEC) during their monthly business meeting, where the commissioners were set to approve several building electrification ordinances passed by cities in California. Many activists spoke in support of passing an all electric state building code in 2022.
"I support adoption of the reach codes in San Anselmo and San Mateo. It's time for the CEC to build off local leadership and take electrification further by setting an all-electric baseline for new construction in the 2022 building code.
Commissioner Hochschild mentioned at the beginning of this meeting that it is dark outside. The sky is so dirty brown with smoke it is a weird dusk. The fires and unbearable heat is record breaking and historic. This morning the Washington Post headlines read; 'Much of the American West is burning, illustrating the dangers of climate change.'
Unless you are a climate change denier you know the heat and fires are caused by changes in climate which are caused by fossil fuel emissions. We must stop our death spiral…more fossil fuel emissions, more heat, more air conditioning required, continues the spiral.
I live in Los Altos. Last Monday a leaking gas meter exploded at a home in Los Altos causing a house fire and requiring neighboring homes to be evacuated. The homes in Los Altos are generally 70 years old and you know there are many more leaking gas meters. As these homes are replaced and as new homes are built would it not be prudent to replace them with safer all electric new construction?
I’ve been working on getting an electric Reach Code passed in Los Altos for over a year. It’s been awesomely tough and I have met the primary objections: cost, reliability, and choice. And, yes, we have folks here that believe climate change is a hoax. Doesn’t that summarize them? The first two objections have studied scientific answers. The third is a matter of political and personal will…like making personal choices for the greater good. Like wearing masks.
Instead of taking this battle to individual cities as we are now, you have the power to make the effort a lot easier. As Terra Weeks and Liz Gill just reported in their "Joint Agency Report, Charting a Path to a 100 Percent Clean Electricity Future, Senate Bill 100 (2018)", SB100 is possible but it will be a big push. (Yes, the report “knocked it out of the park.”) Commissioner Scott asked how to get this moving. One answer is for the Energy Commission to now step in and take this policy statewide to create consistency.