Jan 28 2020

OPINION: Climate Action Meetings

Reminder of Meetings on January 29, February 12 and 26:

Hello Friends:  Passing on this notice for a public workshop this Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30 pm in Community Hall. [See video produced by the City of Piedmont HERE.] Long story short – the city is looking for ideas on how to reduce natural gas usage in town as part of its Climate Action Plan.  The basic concept is to make it easy for residents to electrify their homes – add solar panels, replace NG appliances with electric ones, facilitate installation of EV charging stations. Staff has some very specific proposals that while good, won’t apply to many homes in town.  So come learn about the latest in home electrification technology and bring your own ideas.  Mine – I want a curbside charging station and a solar-panel hot tub!   Can’t do that in Piedmont unless we implement these 21st century codes so now is the time to be creative.
Can’t make it Wednesday?  There are more workshops in February (read below).
Did you know that one-third of Piedmont’s climate impact comes from gas in our homes?
Did you know that the City is exploring ways to reduce this impact – through REACH codes, which can help us make collective progress toward reducing gas usage? 

About 30 Northern California cities have already adopted REACH codes to address emissions from buildings. REACH codes mainly focus on converting appliances to high-efficiency, electricity-powered ones, and encouraging solar and energy efficiency measures. Thanks to East Bay Community Energy, most of us are already purchasing electricity that is from 100% renewable sources. But now we need to actively encourage the replacement of conventional natural gas-powered furnaces and water heaters with high-efficiency electric heat pumps, gas stoves with induction ranges, gas-powered clothes dryers with efficient electric dryers, and so on. Building codes will have a role in this, as well as education, incentives and other policies.

The Piedmont Reach Codes implemented this year will set the tone for Piedmont’s commitment to taking action during this critical decade in the effort to prevent the worst effects of climate change, and we could end up being a leading role model for other small, residentially-dominant cities.

Will you be part of the solution? Decisions will be made over the next few months – join the conversation and spread the word!

The City is hosting a series of workshops, and we’re hoping this will be an opportunity for residents to speak up in support of taking strong action, both with the building reach codes and, more generally, with moving urgently towards full implementation of Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan 2.0. Please come weigh in on what you think would be a good path forward for Piedmont, one that balances the needs of residents and commercial properties with the imperative of phasing out the use of natural gas and other greenhouse gas emitting substances.

A Community Forum aimed at residents, on Wed., Jan 29th from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Community Hall (711 Highland Ave).  Staff will present code suggestions that they think would be good to implement. This presentation will focus on the need to make Piedmont a low-carbon, resilient community and the ways these codes might help us get there. Please join and spread the word!

Two workshops aimed at building industry professionals (same workshop repeated twice) on Wed., Feb 12th from 1:30-3:30 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm at the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) conference room at 403 Highland Avenue. If you know any green-minded industry professionals, please encourage them to attend!

Two workshops for residents (same workshop repeated twice) on Wed., February 26th at 1:30-3:30 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm at the EOC conference room, which will be more of a deep dive into the proposed code.  Connect encourages residents to attend both the January 29th event and this workshop, if possible.

P.S. If you haven’t already, please make sure to join the Piedmont Climate Challenge: piedmontclimatechallenge.org

Garrett Keating, Former Piedmont City Council Member

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