ACT NOW, where it matters most
The three biggest contributors to climate change right here in the Bay Area are from our buildings & the energy we use, our transportation, and our food & food waste.
The good news is that the solutions already exist.
Here are just a few to get started (and we'll be adding many more in the near future):
Energy & Buildings
The energy we use in our buildings contributes about 26% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
Improving energy efficiency saves money.
Eliminating natural gas from our buildings improves indoor air quality. Win-Win, right?
If you've signed up for 100% renewable energy and taken some of the simpler actions like changing all your lightbulbs for LEDs, you're ready to take the next steps. The Switch Is On, California!
So, what's your role?
Why is getting gas out of our homes a big deal?
It's about the air we breathe. All gas appliances in our homes emit significant amounts of methane, a poisonous gas - and they leak even when they're not on.
Replacing gas appliances - our furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, and stoves - that's a lot. But healthy indoor air quality is essential, especially if anyone in your home has asthma or other breathing issues.
We use our stoves every day, so let's start there.
This, not that.
The people at Rewiring America have created extensive how-to guides for homeowners, renters, and businesses. Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask - or weren't even sure of the questions - is in this free downloadable handbook.
LET'S ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING! The Switch Is On, Bay Area!
Once you know what you ready to do, the next question is,
"How do we pay for this?"
Good news: there are numerous rebate and incentive programs available from the Bay Regional Energy Network (BayREN), your utility company and your Community Choice Energy agency - see the list below, as well as your County and even your town or city. There are also helpful lists of contractors available through BayREN and your County's Sustainability office.
PG&E is launching an Induction Cooktop Loaner Program!
PG&E customers can try a plug-in countertop induction unit for their home or business for two weeks, at no cost. Learn more about this program at PGE.com/inductionloaner
Induction cooktops are not your father's electric stove! They use a magnetic field, and only your pots and pans heat up, and faster than traditional electric OR gas stoves, and the surface stays cool to the touch. They are more energy efficient than traditional electric cooktops, and are faster and more responsive than gas stoves. The smooth surface is easy to clean, too.
Not quite ready to ditch your gas stove?
Start with a single hotplate, or an electric hot water pot. It's an inexpensive way to use less gas inside, and that will improve the air you breathe, especially during the winter months when doors and windows remain closed.
ACTION SPOTLIGHT how one person got gas out of his home
How hard is it to replace all natural gas appliances with high-efficiency electric versions powered by 100% renewable energy? It took only 45 days to replace the gas stove with an induction cooktop, gas furnace with heat-pump mini-splits, gas water heater with heat pump technology, and a gas fireplace with an electric log insert before disconnecting permanently from the gas grid.
Contra Costa County resident Wei-Tai Kwok took on the challenge.
HERE'S WHERE TO START:
Inspired but not sure where to start? Like any new project or purchase, understanding the details is essential, so the people at The Switch Is On have experts you can actually talk to: experts on water heaters, solar panels, batteries, and more. They also have information about rebates, incentives, and income-qualifying programs, and they'll help you find certified contractors. Discover more and find resources at The Switch Is On.
While you're planning for the future, here are some things you can do right now:
SIGN UP FOR 100%
Using 100% renewable energy from wind and solar reduces the demand for power produced from fossil fuels. Get your utility bill, and connect with your energy provider on a link below to find a 100% renewable electricity program that's right for your business and/or home:
(Marin, Contra Costa, Napa, Solano)
(San Mateo County)
REPLACE YOUR LIGHTBULBS
LED light bulbs use about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 years.
They are cool to the touch, unlike regular bulbs that emit heat in all directions.
There are LED brightness and color/appearance options available that mimic the older and less efficient bulbs but use a fraction of the energy.
Take the mystery out of which kind to get for your lighting needs:
GET A NO-COST GREEN HOUSE CALL through Rising Sun Center