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Alameda is Going Electric

Alameda is fortunate to have 100% renewable electricity provided by Alameda Municipal Power—geothermal, hydroelectric, wind power, and landfill gas. Meanwhile, natural gas use in buildings accounts for 27% of Alameda’s total greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Therefore, electrifying gas appliances is an important element for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Alameda. The City of Alameda has already taken action in this regard. In June 2021, Alameda adopted an ordinance requiring all newly constructed buildings to be fully electric with a few exceptions. And in January 2023, the City adopted an eight-year Equitable Building Decarbonization Plan to shift existing buildings from natural gas to all-electric power.

Alameda Post - someone cooks on an electric stove

Electrifying the existing building base is a much harder feat to tackle. One approach is to change out existing gas appliances with electrical ones as they age. For example, when your gas stove or gas dryer shows signs of wear, consider replacing them with electrical versions. Alameda Municipal Power offers rebates for replacing gas dryers with Energy Star electrical versions, electrical panel upgrades if needed, smart thermostats, heat pump furnaces and heat pump water heaters.

Gas water heaters are especially gas-guzzling. Do the research now on electric heat pump water heaters so you’ll be ready to replace that gas water heater before it dies. They work like a refrigerator, but in reverse. While a refrigerator pulls heat from the inside of the refrigerator and directs it into the surrounding air, a heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and directs it into the tank of water. The heat pump water heater process is more energy efficient than traditional gas water heaters, which means you’ll save money on monthly bills. Also, heat pump water heaters can improve the air quality in your home by reducing the amount of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide that is released. Heat pump HVAC systems work the same way and have the same benefits as heat pump water heaters. Remember, AMP offers rebates on heat pump water heaters. Also, check out Tech Clean California Incentives for state-level incentives on heat pump water heaters and heat pump HVAC systems.

Before adding more electrical appliances it is a good idea to take AMP’s DIY Home Energy Audit to learn how to reduce your electrical and gas load, thereby reducing your energy bills.

Let’s all perform home energy audits and electrify our appliances to reduce Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions together.

Joyce Mercado is a member of Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA). She can be reached at [email protected].

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