We Had a Very Big Week Here at Rewiring America!
May 21, 2021
We had a very big week here at Rewiring America, with events that are making us feel truly energized about our electrified future!
First, we released a report with the Coalition for Green Capital, “Rewiring Communities: A Plan to Accelerate Climate Action By Investing in Household Electrification at the Local Level”. This proposal is focused on delivering the climate, economic and health benefits of household electrification to low- and moderate-income (LMI) families. We aim to do that by bringing together the capabilities of local communities and the financial resources and administrative flexibility of a $100 billion Clean Energy & Sustainability “Accelerator.” You can dive into the details by downloading the report, but we believe that the benefits the program could deliver across the country between now and 2030 are huge:
- 11.8 million households in every corner of the country would realize immediate energy bill savings. 8.9 million of them would be LMI households (over 75 percent of the total).
- Average all-in savings of up to $750 per household annually compared to replacing in-kind.
- Over 750,000 new direct and indirect jobs would be created nationwide.
- Over 40 million metric tons in emissions reductions would be realized annually, equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road.
- Over $86 billion in private capital would be catalyzed alongside approximately $80 billion in public support. Over 90 percent of all program funds would directly benefit LMI households.
After our report dropped, we were excited that the White House highlighted Rewiring Communities in its release about accelerating efforts to create jobs by making American buildings more affordable, cleaner and resilient.
Rewiring America’s new CEO Ari Matusiak at the press conference introducing U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich's (D-NM) resolution, Electrifying America’s Future. Drawing by Saul Griffith.
Electrifying America’s Future
Then on Tuesday, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), along with 15 U.S. Senators, introduced a resolution, Electrifying America’s Future, using data from Rewiring America, to support a series of policies to move the grid, the industrial sector, buildings, and vehicles to full electrification. Speaking as a “recovering engineer,” Heinrich declared that our climate challenge is a “solvable problem,” and lauded Rewiring America for having laid out the roadmap to an electrified future.
Joining Senator Heinrich in introducing the resolution were U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Angus King (I-Maine).
Rewiring America’s new CEO, Ari Matusiak, spoke at the press conference, emphasizing that, “the key to this pathway is to electrify every device...that currently uses combustion.” Rewiring America’s co-founder and Chief Scientist Saul Griffith has estimated that full electrification will require replacing or building one billion machines, which Ari called “a tremendous opportunity for the country.”
“This is a breakthrough moment: the vision President Biden just laid out of a 50 percent reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2030, just nine years from now, is in a sense even bolder than President Kennedy’s moonshot,” said Saul Griffith, who is also the founder and chief scientist at Otherlab, an independent R&D lab. “Rewiring America is all-in because this is doable. We have the technology we need, we have the leadership we need and we don’t have to change the way we live.”
“Forty-two percent of the energy-related emissions in this country come from decisions we make at our kitchen tables,” said Rewiring America co-founder and former OPower founder Alex Laskey. “The path to keeping warming inside of 1.5 degrees Celsius depends on electrifying our homes and making clean, electric machines the most affordable and convenient for consumers to purchase when the time comes to replace our appliances. Doing this will save the planet, but it will also save every household money on their utility bills, create 25 million jobs across our communities, and make our homes healthier and safer.”
Saul: Podcast and Keynote on 100 Billion Machines
Our New Rewiring America Team
We’re wrapping up today with some big organization announcements. The guy in the colorable sketch above, Ari Matusiak, is our new CEO. Ari served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Obama where he focused on jobs and competitiveness policy and oversaw the relationship between the Administration and the private sector. He comes to Rewiring America with almost a decade of executive leadership and operating experience in renewable energy and household electrification. He is also the co-founder and managing partner of Purpose Venture Group, a social impact advisory firm and incubator that builds community-centered ventures to address climate and economic inequality.
Adam Zurofsky, our Founding Executive Director, will step into the role of Senior Advisor, heading up Rewiring's expanded federal and state policy efforts. It was Adam who drove our big week in Washington, and who recruited Ari to the team.
And because Ari has helped us already raise funds to rapidly scale to meet this moment, we’re able to partner with Act Now, the team that built Covid Act Now, one of the leading sources of U.S. COVID data for policymakers and the public. The Act Now team of engineers, data scientists, designers, researchers, and storytellers will bring their state-of-art visualization skills to help explain to American homeowners and renters, as well as policymakers, how to electrify and why. CEO Igor Kofman will be joining Rewiring America's leadership team as Head of Product and Engineering, and Debbie Lai as Head of Operations and Planning.