This article is the last in a series referencing a paper Sue Coakley and I authored for the Electricity Journal. This special edition of the Electricity Journal titled “Energy Optimization is the Key to Affordable, Reliable Decarbonization” was coordinated by the Regulatory Assistance Project.
Berkeley, California made news recently with a ban on natural gas hookups in most new construction. The story has definitely been picked up by the media as Berkeley is the first city to ban natural gas. NRDC estimates that as many as 50 cities in California are considering similar bans.
Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), a California based consultancy, has taken a detailed look at the economics of electrification on behalf of three California utilities. The results show that: “All new construction homes and the majority (84 percent) of existing single-family homes with A/C would save by going all-electric.” For homes with air conditioning, the efficiency of advanced heat pumps leads to bill savings that outweigh higher initial costs.
Building energy codes are a critical piece of the puzzle in the fight against climate change. Carbon emissions reduction plans must include energy codes that are regularly updated in order to effectively fight climate change.
Renewable energy, like solar and wind, are popular and effective energy sources that will drastically reduce our carbon emissions. They are buzzwords that fill our social media feeds and are sexy alternatives to coal and oil. They also remind us that a world beyond fossil fuels is achievable. But what about energy efficiency?