How do we transform buildings so they are no longer a leading cause of climate change? And how do we do this in a way that brings the benefits of clean energy to marginalized communities?
The welfare of every person and living thing on the planet depends on our success in replacing the fossil-fuel energy systems that heat our buildings, bring hot water to our taps, and cook our food. This means replacing these gas-and-oil-burning energy systems with clean electric devices. Seattle is blessed with an electric grid powered almost entirely from non-polluting renewable resources, primarily hydro power.
In order to slash building-related greenhouse gas emissions to zero, the technological fix is clear: We must replace fossil-fuel energy sources with heat pump heating and cooling systems, heat pump water heaters, and electric stoves and fireplaces. These devices can save building owners substantial money in reduced operating costs, particularly when combined with building weatherization.
But the upfront cost of heat pumps is high, so residents in historically marginalized communities have been left behind in the energy transition, their children consigned to breathing air that harms their health. That’s why Green Buildings Now has created a fund that will enable nonprofit organizations on Beacon Hill to join the clean energy revolution.