The electrification of existing multifamily buildings is critical to achieving California’s decarbonization goals and reducing the impact buildings have on climate change. In the existing multifamily building sector, natural gas fueled space heating and water heating systems currently predominate. However, technology innovations and mainstream adoption of heat pump technology have the potential to rapidly accelerate the transition away from fossil fuel powered equipment. In addition to the societal and environmental benefits of decarbonization and electrification, switching to all-electric systems and appliances can provide both renters and owners with significant benefits, including reduced energy use, lower utility costs, increased resilience, and better indoor air quality.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is committed to helping California reach its ambitious clean air and environmental goals. Last year, we highlighted our vision for the future in our Pathway 2045 plan – a data- driven analysis of the steps that California must take to clean our electricity grid and reach carbon neutrality by 2045. These steps include electrifying 75% of transportation, electrifying 70% of buildings, powering 100% of retail sales with carbon-free electricity and using low carbon fuels for technologies not viable for electrification.
Reducing the carbon footprint is a priority across California and the country. Cities, counties and agencies are key players in achieving our state’s de-carbonization goals – they are constantly evaluating their communities and seeking solutions to advance in the areas of green building, smart mobility, and sustainability. Getting to that goal is a complex endeavor. However, we know that what we buy truly matters to the outcome.
This summer’s heatwave and rolling power outages were a reminder of the importance of having clean and reliable technologies that help reduce emissions and reduce the demand on our electric grid. One example is fuel cells. Earlier this year, SoCalGas installed natural gas-powered fuel cell systems at two of our largest facilities in the Los Angeles area. These fuel cells allow energy to be generated right where it is needed and makes the facilities independent from the power grid.
This year, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) honored 36 California cities that have taken significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and implement best practices in sustainability. In a year when we’ve responded to a global pandemic, devastating wildfires, social justice demonstrations, economic uncertainty, and more, ILG looks to these communities as examples of cities taking action — despite competing priorities — to make their communities more resilient and vibrant.