Important Steps We Can Take to Slow Global Warming
Many of you are alarmed about the climate crisis and trying to figure out what you can do to help slow global warming. You are not alone. In the 2021 Lake Oswego Community Survey, addressing climate change was one of the top concerns of Lake Oswego residents.
One of the most impactful changes you can make is to electrify both how you get around and the sources of energy in your home. Electrification moves us away from fossil fuels that are the primary source of the climate crisis toward “clean”, renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydropower.
Data from the CoolClimate Network, an affiliate of UC, Berkeley, shows that a Lake Oswego household can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40% by electrifying everything. That’s significant!
Currently Portland General Electric, our local electricity utility, is working to meet a state-mandated requirement for electricity that is 80% clean by 2030 and 100% clean by 2040. However, you don’t have to wait. You can support 100% renewable energy now by installing rooftop solar, participating in a community solar program, or signing up for PGE’s Green Power Choice.
To help you reduce your electricity bill while making the clean energy transition go faster, there are many new high-efficiency electric appliances available for cooking, water heating and space heating that use less electricity. In addition, electric appliances and vehicles are frequently quieter, safer, have lower maintenance costs, and are fun to use.
Through our Electrify LO program we hope to get everyone in Lake Oswego on to electricity as quickly as possible. We will show you step-by-step how to make the transition to clean energy and help you along the way.
Where You Live
Heating and Cooling Your Home and Water
Replace your furnace/air conditioner with an electric heat pump. A heat pump works like a refrigerator. In the winter it takes the heat from the outside air and pumps it into your home. In the summer you flip a switch, and it works as an air conditioner by taking heat out of your home and into the outside air.
Heat pumps can also be used to heat your water. Heat pumps are cleaner, more energy efficient, and healthier than natural gas furnaces. Consider retiring your furnace or water heater early before it breaks down.
For more information, see our Heat Pumps page.
Cooking Your Food
Electric induction cooktops are more energy efficient than natural gas or other electric stoves. Advantages include that they:
- Outperform other cooktops in speed of heating and temperature control. Because of this they are preferred by many professional chefs.
- Can be inexpensive—single-burner countertop models can cost under $100.
- Cause less indoor pollution that may harm your health compared to natural gas.
For more information, see our Induction Cooktops page.
Maintaining Your Yard
Interested in eliminating the noise and pollution from gas powered yard equipment? There are now electric options for every piece of landscaping equipment available that you or your landscaping service can use. Check out what equipment is available and which landscaping services offer an all-electric service at our Electric Landscaping Project page.
How You Get Around
Automobiles and trucks, burning fossil fuel, are one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. That is why making your next purchase an electric vehicle (EV) is one of the best things you can do to eliminate toxic air pollutants while you are also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
EV options are rapidly expanding. They are fun to drive, less costly to maintain, and have numerous financial incentives that make them much more affordable.
For more information, check out our EV page.
What Electrify LO Offers
- Information through online forums and videos, in-person events, and written guides.
- Connect with your neighbors: Hear testimonials and advice from community members who have already begun the transition.
- Network of local contractors: Find contractors who understand your objectives and will work with you to give you good service.
The climate crisis is alarming, but each of us can make more of a difference than we imagine, and we can support each other as we go. So please join this effort and begin your electrification journey. Pass on the word to others in Lake Oswego about how they can become part of this community-wide effort. Check our Electrify LO Resources page and the website of our partner Electrify Now for detailed information.
The Inflation Reduction Act Makes Your Electrification Journey More Affordable
The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden on August 16, represents the most important federal climate legislation ever signed into law. It is estimated that the bill will reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 40% below the nation’s previous peak. The law includes many ways to reduce the emissions from your home. Increased tax credits for rooftop solar are available immediately. After January 1, 2023 almost everyone is eligible for a $2000 tax credit for a heat pump space heater and another $2000 tax credit for a heat pump water heater. Other tax credits are available for upgrading your electrical panel, basic weatherization, and whole home energy reductions. Check out the calculator from Rewiring America to see what savings you are eligible for using the Rewire IRA Calculator. Depending on your income level these credits can add up to as much as $14,000. Rewiring America calculates that the average American family will save $1800 per year in energy costs by moving their cars and appliances away from fossil fuels to electricity.
Electrification Journeys – Testimonials
Testimonial from Erin Saylor Referred by PGE. Erin Saylor’s views on electrification were informed by her work at an environmental nonprofit where she had a front row seat to discussions about the climate and health impacts of our country's reliance on fossil gas....
Testimonial from Duke Castle Duke Castle was part of a team working on the initial city-community climate action plan and learned that the quickest and most impactful thing citizens in Lake Oswego could do to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to...
Testimonial from Kathy Kremer
Kathy Kremer was always interested in sustainability, which she routinely incorporated into her work as a residential building designer.