I am in agreement with amending the City Code (section 8-1-8) to prepare our community for a more environmentally friendly way of using energy and healing our planet. Our environmental situation is very fragile, and the energy demands of our world are steadily increasing. We have to begin to think about how we can increase efficiency and eliminate risk to the environment. Locally, we must promote the use of non-harming renewable energy sources, reduce risk to the environment, and think about energy optimization. HEC's greater sphere of influence lies in energy optimization. Energy optimization can be utilized when people think about how they can use and not use energy to maximize its benefits for the climate and people. The following changes must be promoted by HEC:
Area1-making buildings energy efficient
HEC is currently promoting making homes energy efficient. Citizens can apply for energy audits, utilize the appliance rebate program, participate in the Friendly City Solar Program, and participate in the CHP weatherization program. Their website states that "CHP Weatherization helps low-income individuals and families reduce energy costs by improving the energy efficiency and health of their homes using the federal Weatherization Assistance Program and other funding sources." I was unable to find similar weatherization programs for buildings/businesses.
Area #2-Peak Shaving (Demand-Response)
This involves incentives that could be offered for reducing electricity use when grid use is high. This could be easily implemented, yet I could not find information on the HEC website about the benefits of peak shaving.
Area #3-Fuel Switching
Fossil fuel usage is the number 1 contributor to global warming. We should be decreasing our use of coal, oil, and natural gas. Currently, these are the top suppliers of most energy needs. Coal is a contributor to many health ailments. Oil contributes to smog and air pollution. Natural gas use leads to fracking, contaminated groundwater, and earthquakes. We must move toward using fewer fossil fuels and more sustainable inexhaustible energy sources. Renewable energy sources offer no harm to the environment, are naturally replenished, and can be cheaper. One downfall of renewable is that they not be produced when they are most needed.
Our Friendly City must begin being friendly to our environment, and that can happen with the insertion of the two words "environmentally sustainable" into the city code (section 8-18). We can move from city to city if we feel it is not Friendly. We can not ask for a new Earth once we destroyed the one we are living on.