Updated: Aug 24, 2020
I have been volunteering full time in the “reversing global warming,” climate change solutions movement for well over three years now since retiring from my “day job.” All the work I am doing and the singular direction in which I am heading with it, is leading me and my family into a green, sustainable, “all-electric” life now and into the foreseeable future.
This blog article will be the first in a continuing series chronicling my family’s progression to that new way of powering our entire presence on this big blue marble called Earth. I hope that these articles will help you think about how to transition your own family to a, “Big-Beautiful-Green-ALL ELECTRIC-Life” as well.
So, let’s get to work…
How does seeking an all-electric life relate to my past, present and future climate activism right now?
My work with PenfieldCCA at the local, municipal government level, is the place to begin. Our PenfieldCCA Residents’ Committee (www.penfieldcca.org) is lobbying the Penfield town board to implement a Community Choice Aggregation program that provides 100% clean, renewable, carbon free and affordable electricity as our default electricity supply option for all Penfield residents. In addition, we want a Community Solar “opt-in” option as well for even less expensive, locally sourced, good for our economy, clean solar energy.
My work at the national level with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL’s Rochester Chapter) directly supports the CCA efforts noted above. I’ve been lobbying our members of Congress for the last three years to pass legislation that will put a steadily rising fee on CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and return all of the net revenues to American households as equal shares to help them offset their rising energy costs due to burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuel companies have been selling coal, oil and natural gas for way too long without pricing in the terrible external costs and damaging effects that emissions from burning these fuels wreaks on our health, environment and climate. It’s time that changed. CCL’s preferred carbon pricing legislation would reduce our GHG emissions 40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. Pricing carbon is inevitable (See Forbes – 6/30/2020 - June Developments Point To Inevitability Of National Carbon Price) and doing so reinforces the need to transition to sustainable energy sources. As fossil fuel prices rise as a result of this legislation, the forces of innovation and technology advancement will be energized and incentivized to develop new and improve old - ways of generating green, renewable energy…electricity!
So, with all of the electricity flowing into our home in Penfield coming from affordable 100% clean, renewable and carbon free sources (after we implement our CCA program) AND… with the prices of fossil fuels based energy rising steadily (after our nation passes carbon pricing) it makes all the sense in the world to undertake a complete transformation to a, “Big-Beautiful-Green-ALL ELECTRIC-Life.”
So how do we do that? How do we create a, “Big-Beautiful-Green-ALL ELECTRIC-Life?” For this series of articles, I will be focusing primarily on two main areas of transformation; home and auto! I will be exploring in depth what it takes to transition to an all-electric powered home and to an all-electric powered vehicle. Where could this journey lead me?
Converting our home heating systems (of all types) to all electric. I’ll be exploring many different ways to jettison heating with natural gas step-by-step or all at once. For example:
Selecting and installing mini-split/single or multi-zone - high efficiency air-source all electric heat pumps.
Selecting and installing whole house – central duct work - high efficiency air-source all electric heat pumps.
Selecting and installing whole house – central duct work - high efficiency geothermal ground-source all electric heat pumps.
Selecting and installing “dual-fuel” – central duct work - whole house systems; consisting of a high-efficiency air-source heat pump for heating and cooling most days of the year, fitted directly inside a high efficiency natural gas furnace used for heat backup only on those very, very cold days when called for by the heat pump system.
Selecting and installing “hybrid” high-efficiency air-source heat pump - hot water heaters to replace natural gas fired water heaters.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also explore replacing natural gas-powered stoves, ranges, ovens, cooktops and clothes dryers with their all-electric, high efficiency counterparts as well. All of these major appliances are de facto “home (appliance) heating systems” in their own right.
Replacing our family’s cars with plug-in-hybrid-electric (PHEV) or all-electric (EV) vehicles. In my life, my wife and I have already begun the process of going all-electric with the recent replacement of one of our cars. For example:
Check out my recent June 2020 blog article about our new 2020 Bolt EV here.
Look for more first-hand accounts in blog articles to come, that share our experiences driving and living with an EV day to day.
In conclusion, is this really going to happen? Are we REALLY going to go all electric in our homes and with our autos in the future? In answer to that question, I ask you to read this very telling article printed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on July 6th, 2020: “In Landmark Agreement RG&E and NYSEG Seek to Cap Natural Gas Use.” Need more convincing? Read this article in City News posted on June 29th, 2020: “RG&E to Scale Back on Natural Gas and Raise Rates.” Yes, it IS going to happen! All of us are headed directly to a, “Big-Beautiful-Green-ALL ELECTRIC-Life.” Let’s enjoy the ride together! Stay tuned right here for much, much more to come and thank you for taking this exciting journey with us here at ColorPenfieldGreen.org.
If you would like to share your own stories about going “all-electric” in your life with us, please email them to: ColorPenfieldGreen@Gmail.com. We’ll get those stories posted on our website for all to read and enjoy. Thank you.