Show Us Your Gas
November 11, 2021
Help us develop a tool to make electrification easier. We’re looking for a few hundred folks to spend about 15 minutes walking around their house photographing breaker boxes and furnaces and the like and uploading them into our questionnaire.
If you have gas-burning appliances, we want to see! From your photos, we want to learn how to build an online tool to tell you what panel upgrade you need, how much life you have left on your furnace, and an estimate on how much it would cost to replace it with a heat pump. It’s all anonymous – so your privacy is protected. If you’re willing to help, get your camera ready and here’s the survey! Thanks.
A Tale of Two Cities
As the COP26 climate conference hurtles toward a conclusion in the Scottish city of Glasgow, it is both the best of times … and the worst of times in terms of a global response to the climate crisis. A first-ever ban on fossil fuels is under discussion, but there’s not wide-buy in. There’s been historic progress on halting deforestation, ending coal power, and moving to electric vehicles. But the young people have taken to the streets because it’s all not enough – and a huge investigation by The Washington Post revealed countries are emitting a lot more than they’re admitting.
So there are two Glasgows this week. At Rewiring America, we choose the Glasgow half full! If you are feeling us, share the pledge with some friends on social or via email, and let’s help more people see a path to a solution.
Electrify Your Bookshelf
Our co-founder Saul Griffith’s new book Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for our Clean Energy Future has been getting great reviews. The prestigious journal Nature listed it among the top climate books for the year. Saul wrote an OpEd for Yale Environment 360 about the urgent need to electrify everything, now. And Five Books’ reviewer Sarah Dry recommended Electrify as one of the best five climate books of the year: “It’s very clear, it’s very practical, it’s very possiblist. It’s very much focused on the technical rather than the political without being naive about the need for political will.” If you missed Saul in conversation with our own research scientist Sam Calisch, and wordsmith Laura Fraser for the book launch, you can still check it out in this video from the Booksmith.
Join a Virtual Book Event with OG Climate Guy Bill McKibben
Renowned climate advocate Bill McKibben, who just reviewed Saul’s book for the New York Review of Books, will join Saul for a free, virtual conversation. Join us! Register here for the event at 5pm ET/2pm PT this coming Wednesday, November 17th. Bill will just be back from COP26 – so Saul will cheer him up in what we’re calling The Most Optimistic Climate Chat You’ll Hear This Year.
Where’s Your Rebate?
Currently, both the House and Senate budget reconciliation bills appear to have about $6 billion for the Zero-Emission Homes Act, which offers point-of-sale appliance rebates that will make electrification financially possible for American families when the time comes to replace an appliance. Together with the Center for American Progress, we projected that up to $265 billion over the decade is what’s needed to not miss the moment to electrify and wean a house off gas when a furnace or other fossil-fueled machine fails. So, $6 billion isn’t enough. But it’s a start, and when combined with the contemplated tax credits and low-cost financing and grants through the $27 billion in funding for a green bank/clean energy accelerator type Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, it will mark the first step by the U.S. Congress to empower the American people to play a great big role in solving climate change by upgrading their personal infrastructure. The rebates in particular have more rebate dollars for low- and moderate-income households—so no American should be left behind in this heat pump and induction cooktop revolution.
A Word on Inflation
We have heard quite a lot these past few weeks about inflation related to supply chain woes and the challenges of restarting an entire economy that was shut down from COVID-19. One form of inflation is playing out with respect to fossil fuel costs, with heating bills spiking for families on gas and delivered fuels this winter. We will have a lot more to say about this next week, but the inflation story is yet one more reason to electrify everything. Because clean electricity is just not subject to the same kind of energy price instability. And that is one more reason why we need to pass the Build Back Better plan, so we can start transitioning households to a clean, electric future.