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Staying Warm and Cleaning up the Grid

As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, have you found yourself turning up the thermostat, cooking a warm stew or hearty soup on your gas stove, and turning on the lights a little bit earlier? You’re not alone. We all use more energy in the fall and winter, and with the year we’ve had, we should do everything we can to make our homes that much more comfortable. By building more solar projects and cleaning up the electricity grid, we can stay warm worry-free!

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire 

While we all rely on energy to heat our homes, many of us still use natural gas to heat our water and cook our food, and that natural gas has a hefty carbon footprint. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, heating our homes and businesses generates 12 percent of our total emissions. In San Francisco, where natural gas represents over 40 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, local leaders recently passed legislation to ban natural gas in new homes and commercial buildings

This is a great example of climate action that takes responsibility on the front end, rather than putting the onus on consumers to retrofit their homes to be more sustainable. However, these new homes and buildings will only increase our demand on the electric grid.  

Electricity Use and Our Emissions

In the United States, our power sector makes up over 25 percent of our total emissions. If more local governments follow San Francisco’s leadership to make new development 100 percent powered by electricity rather than natural gas, our emissions from electricity use is only going to increase. 

Luckily, we have the tools and technology to clean up our grid. Thanks to advancements in renewable energy and battery storage, we’re in the best position to replace dirty fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy with solar power. We just need leadership, both from the government and the private sector, to get things done. In fact, 2019 was the second largest year yet for corporate solar investments

However, if we’re going to achieve a fully decarbonized grid, we need companies of all sizes to get involved in the transition to clean energy. 


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