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Guest opinion: California needs an equitable strategy for transitioning to all-electric buildings

Original post made on Apr 5, 2021

In an op-ed first published by CalMatters, Ethan Elkind and Ted Lamm argue why state leaders should develop a strategy for the long-term phaseout of natural gas in our buildings.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, April 4, 2021, 8:45 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Nora S.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 5, 2021 at 10:11 am

Nora S. is a registered user.

While my neighbors with their newfangled all-electric houses are reduced to opening cans and taking cold showers during the ever-more-frequent rolling blackouts, I will be cooking and bathing as usual. Thank you, gas appliances!

This gimmicky push to eliminate gas is ideological rather than numbers-driven. Number one way to reduce household emissions: mandate better insulation of all new construction and retrofits of old. I wish our politicians would stop virtue-signaling and start working on the real problems.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Sam is a registered user.

Natural gas is an very efficient energy source. Going fully electric has some advantages but the green infrastructure for producing electricity is woefully lacking. It’s irresponsible to promote impractical solutions.

Posted by bluesjr
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 6, 2021 at 6:23 pm

bluesjr is a registered user.

My house is powered with natural gas: furnace, water heater, dryer and cooktop. I've recently seriously considered two big incentives to switch to electric appliances:
1) SVCE's heat-pump water heater rebate, combined with a separate rebate for any necessary electrical work, both fairly tempting and generous.
2) Solar panels with the current 26% federal tax credit (which does me no good in my situation).

Problems with both projects "penciling-out" as the developers say. The heat-pump water heater solution does not fit my interior closet (deal killer in itself), and the electrical portion would require upgrading my 60A panel. Indeed, the plumber that has successfully completed SVCE projects told me it would not pay for itself even if it did fit. The price/loan on the solar panels would not save me anything given my lack of electric appliances. Maybe if I were to switch my dryer, and cooktop or water heater it would make sense. Or add air conditioning - that's the big electricity hog.

The point is, to get people like me to switch based on dollars and cents will require much more substantive incentives. I can't afford it just to be green.

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