At the September 6 Milwaukie City Council meeting, members will be considering options to move buildings toward all-electric. Let’s encourage them!
Buildings are the second largest source of climate pollution in Oregon, as our appliances still rely on “so-called” natural gas to cool and heat our homes and to cook. Burning methane gas not only contributes to climate pollution, but also poses significant health and safety risks indoors where we live, learn, play and work. This pollution both inside and outside harms everyone, but especially where there are children, Black, Indigenous and communities of color or low-income households, and other historically underserved people.
We think Milwaukie can do better and we need the City Council to hear from lots of folks who agree. Recently, the City of Eugene voted to move towards all-electric new construction and we think the Milwaukie City Council should join them in working toward phasing out fossil fuels, which would ensure clean, safe, all-electric and more energy efficient buildings for everyone–literally a cool solution for all of us.
More and more cities and counties across our region and the country are taking charge to make sure that all new buildings are powered by clean and efficient electricity. Electrifying buildings is critical to addressing climate change and making our homes cool and warm when we need it while saving energy. It is also achievable, healthy, safe, and helps create more resilient communities.
Electrifying buildings can also help us reduce carbon emissions while improving the indoor air quality in our homes. Cost savings are also realized because a single piece of electric equipment—a heat pump—can both heat and cool a home and save energy at the same time. In contrast, a mixed-fuel house (i.e., gas and electric) would require two separate pieces of space conditioning equipment: an air-conditioner for cooling and a furnace for heating, which would be more expensive and energy intensive. According to an analysis by Synapse Energy Economics, a rapid transition to electric heat pumps in Oregon homes and buildings would lower household energy bills, generate $1.1 billion in savings by 2050, and reduce climate pollution – without major grid impacts.
On September 6th, the Milwaukie City Council will meet, and we all have the opportunity to urge the council to take action in real time on climate and let them know why this is important.
But right now, you can send them a message ahead of that meeting. Can you join your voice with other Milwaukie community members to let the Milwaukie City Council and Mayor know you support climate action?
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