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Stymied by lack of progress, Palo Alto looks for new strategies to combat climate change

Leaders consider ways to scale up electrification effort

The City Council will consider on Feb. 22 next steps for advancing the city's Sustainability/Climate Action Plan. Embarcadero Media file photo.

What will it take for Palo Alto to live up to its lofty goals on climate change?

That's a question that the Utilities Department has been struggling to answer since 2016, when the City Council adopted a goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2030. It's also one that the council will consider this Monday, when it discusses the city's Sustainability/Climate Action Plan and weighs new options for making progress after years of relative inertia.

The city is still finalizing an analysis of what types of measures it would take to reach the "80x30" goal and how much it would cost to get there. But according to a presentation that the city's Utilities Advisory Commission received earlier this month, the effort would necessarily require widespread conversions of city buildings, including single-family residences, from gas to electricity; overwhelming adoption of electric vehicles by local residents and employees; and a 40% reduction of emissions from major facilities.

It will require the Utilities Department to scale up its electricity operations, or hire contractors, to facilitate the electrification effort to rethink the viability of the city's gas utility.

It may also likely require the city to go to the voters between 2022 and 2024 for approval of broad new energy mandates or potentially contentious policies like carbon pricing.

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In rolling out the plan, Utilities staff is trying to balance the need for urgent action on climate change and the community resistance that would inevitably ensue if the city adopts mandates without giving residents adequate outreach, technical assistance and financial support. The strategy that Jonathan Abendschein, the city's assistant director for utilities resource management, presented to the commission on Feb. 3, thus placed a heavy emphasis on encouraging early adopters, expanding education and getting participation from neighborhood leaders and community volunteers.

At the same time, Abendschein underscored that the city would have to take some major steps in the next few years if it has any hope of reaching its climate change goal, an issue that has only grown in urgency since 2017. When the council adopted the 80x30 target, some talked about it as an "aspirational goal." Now, it looks like a bare minimum.

He pointed to the 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of scientists from across the globe that recommended limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report states that meeting that goal would require "rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings) and industrial systems."

"These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio or mitigation options and significant upscaling of investment in those options," the IPCC report states.

The report's findings, Abenschneider told the utilities commission, suggested that the city's 80x30 goal is now vital to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

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"Palo Alto isn't necessarily going above and beyond what's needed," Abendschein said.

Despite the growing sense of urgency, Palo Alto's actions haven't kept up with its words. City officials celebrated a major milestone in 2013, when the city adopted a "carbon neutral" electric portfolio. That policy has been credited with reducing the city's emissions by 36% from 1990 levels, or 56.5% when one considers the city's purchases of carbon offsets.

Since then, however, the city's environmentalists have had little to cheer about. The city has failed to meet its goals for energy efficiency in both 2019 and in 2020 and its plans to accelerate the "electrification" of buildings has also failed to advance, thanks in large part to the high costs of replacing and retrofitting gas appliances and installing heat pumps.

'Palo Alto isn't necessarily going above and beyond what's needed.'

-Jonathan Abendschein, Palo Alto assistant director for utilities resource management

Christine Luong, Palo Alto's sustainability manager, reported last April that the city achieved savings of just 0.61% in electric efficiency in 0.44% in gas efficiency in 2019.

David Coale, a member of the group Carbon Free Palo Alto, called the recent trend discouraging. While city staff has been creating and revising analyses, the city hasn't rolled out any new programs to achieve major emission reductions. The delay just means the city will have to do that much more in future years if it hopes to meet its ambitious goals.

"The more we wait, the steeper the curve and the harder it is to get there," Coale told this news organization.

Last month, Coale was among residents who successfully lobbied the council to declare climate change as an official priority for 2021. By doing so, the council signified its intent to devote "particular, unusual and significant attention" to the topic this year.

The Monday hearing will give council members a chance to pin down exactly what this means.

Among the thorniest questions that the council will have to confront is: How fast and how far should it go to encourage — or mandate — building electrification? Abendschein noted that the work is only beginning on figuring out how to electrify commercial buildings, a task fraught with technical and economical challenges.

"That means we will likely need to commit heavily to single-family residential electrification as ... our most cost-efficient and technical course of action," Abendschein said.

Palo Alto may likely ask voters between 2022 and 2024 to consider broad new energy mandates or contentious policies to combat climate change. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

Such an effort, however, would come with its own challenges. Some residents may prefer gas appliances to electrical ones. Others may have recently purchased or upgraded their gas infrastructure. Still, others may be unable to afford electrification or unwilling to pay more than $15,000 to electrify their homes.

Commissioner Greg Scharff, a former council member, cautioned staff against moving too fast to create broad mandates on energy. That task, he argued at the Feb. 3 meeting, is best left to the state.

"I think we all agree that climate change is the single biggest threat facing us at the moment," Scharff said. "There is some question in my mind frankly about … how much money we're going to spend on this, and what that does to change the community, and the unrest it will cost once people figure it out — versus, frankly, the benefits of statewide action on something like this, which is more conducive to how you actually move something forward like this."

To address potential resident concerns, Utilities Department officials are exploring mechanisms such as on-bill financing, which would allow homeowners to finance electrification upgrades by paying "efficiencies fees" on their bills over a long period. This, Abendschein said, would allow homeowners to pay for electric systems over many years without having to take on debt and without having these obligations affect their credit scores. And because the goal is to electrify buildings rather than tax residents, obligations for paying these fees would shift when a home is sold.

The Utilities Department is also trying to make electrification more attractive by packaging with two other municipal services: the extension of the city's fiber network to homes (also known as "Fiber to the Premises") and the undergrounding of overhead electric equipment.

Commissioner A.C. Johnston said the city also needs to allay people's concerns about the resiliency of all-electric buildings.

"Until people are comfortable that they're going to be able to have power, they're going to be reluctant to give up gas, which is kind of an alternative source when the power goes down," Johnston said.

'I think we all agree that climate change is the single biggest threat facing us at the moment.'

-Greg Scharff, member, Palo Alto Utilities Advisory Commission

Commissioners said they were excited about staff's proposed approach, which focuses on education and outreach in its earliest phases and which is prioritizing incentives over mandates. They also noted that when it comes to evaluating the city's climate action plans, the devil will be in the details. Some of these details will be publicized in April or May, when Utilities staff plans to release reports outlining specific actions that would need to be taken and the costs of implementing these options.

Even though that analysis won't be out until later this year, Commissioner Don Jackson lauded staff's approach to advance the 80x30 goal, including its focus on education and on early adopters.

"If those early adopters and volunteers have reasonable experiences, it helps the snowball start rolling down the hill," Jackson said. "That's a good thing."

Bret Andersen, a member of Carbon Free Palo Alto who supported the council's adoption of the 80x30 goal, said he found the latest signals from the city encouraging. Palo Alto officials are at last coming around to an idea that his group has been advocating for years: focusing on reducing gas use in buildings.

Andersen told this news organization that he believes the city will have to adopt a mandate for building electrification to meet its emissions goals. Before it does so, however, the Utilities Department needs to make sure that residents have an easy and affordable way to make the needed change.

Given that the city owns its utilities, it is well-positioned to make this happen, even despite the years of delays in getting the programs implemented. And strong leadership by the city in promoting — and, ultimately, mandating — building electrification is necessary if Palo Alto were to meet its goals on emission reductions, he said.

"What's clear is that we can't do it by waiting for the free market to provide the incentives," Andersen said. "We don't have time now."

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Stymied by lack of progress, Palo Alto looks for new strategies to combat climate change

Leaders consider ways to scale up electrification effort

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Feb 18, 2021, 12:42 pm

What will it take for Palo Alto to live up to its lofty goals on climate change?

That's a question that the Utilities Department has been struggling to answer since 2016, when the City Council adopted a goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2030. It's also one that the council will consider this Monday, when it discusses the city's Sustainability/Climate Action Plan and weighs new options for making progress after years of relative inertia.

The city is still finalizing an analysis of what types of measures it would take to reach the "80x30" goal and how much it would cost to get there. But according to a presentation that the city's Utilities Advisory Commission received earlier this month, the effort would necessarily require widespread conversions of city buildings, including single-family residences, from gas to electricity; overwhelming adoption of electric vehicles by local residents and employees; and a 40% reduction of emissions from major facilities.

It will require the Utilities Department to scale up its electricity operations, or hire contractors, to facilitate the electrification effort to rethink the viability of the city's gas utility.

It may also likely require the city to go to the voters between 2022 and 2024 for approval of broad new energy mandates or potentially contentious policies like carbon pricing.

In rolling out the plan, Utilities staff is trying to balance the need for urgent action on climate change and the community resistance that would inevitably ensue if the city adopts mandates without giving residents adequate outreach, technical assistance and financial support. The strategy that Jonathan Abendschein, the city's assistant director for utilities resource management, presented to the commission on Feb. 3, thus placed a heavy emphasis on encouraging early adopters, expanding education and getting participation from neighborhood leaders and community volunteers.

At the same time, Abendschein underscored that the city would have to take some major steps in the next few years if it has any hope of reaching its climate change goal, an issue that has only grown in urgency since 2017. When the council adopted the 80x30 target, some talked about it as an "aspirational goal." Now, it looks like a bare minimum.

He pointed to the 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of scientists from across the globe that recommended limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report states that meeting that goal would require "rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings) and industrial systems."

"These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio or mitigation options and significant upscaling of investment in those options," the IPCC report states.

The report's findings, Abenschneider told the utilities commission, suggested that the city's 80x30 goal is now vital to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Palo Alto isn't necessarily going above and beyond what's needed," Abendschein said.

Despite the growing sense of urgency, Palo Alto's actions haven't kept up with its words. City officials celebrated a major milestone in 2013, when the city adopted a "carbon neutral" electric portfolio. That policy has been credited with reducing the city's emissions by 36% from 1990 levels, or 56.5% when one considers the city's purchases of carbon offsets.

Since then, however, the city's environmentalists have had little to cheer about. The city has failed to meet its goals for energy efficiency in both 2019 and in 2020 and its plans to accelerate the "electrification" of buildings has also failed to advance, thanks in large part to the high costs of replacing and retrofitting gas appliances and installing heat pumps.

Christine Luong, Palo Alto's sustainability manager, reported last April that the city achieved savings of just 0.61% in electric efficiency in 0.44% in gas efficiency in 2019.

David Coale, a member of the group Carbon Free Palo Alto, called the recent trend discouraging. While city staff has been creating and revising analyses, the city hasn't rolled out any new programs to achieve major emission reductions. The delay just means the city will have to do that much more in future years if it hopes to meet its ambitious goals.

"The more we wait, the steeper the curve and the harder it is to get there," Coale told this news organization.

Last month, Coale was among residents who successfully lobbied the council to declare climate change as an official priority for 2021. By doing so, the council signified its intent to devote "particular, unusual and significant attention" to the topic this year.

The Monday hearing will give council members a chance to pin down exactly what this means.

Among the thorniest questions that the council will have to confront is: How fast and how far should it go to encourage — or mandate — building electrification? Abendschein noted that the work is only beginning on figuring out how to electrify commercial buildings, a task fraught with technical and economical challenges.

"That means we will likely need to commit heavily to single-family residential electrification as ... our most cost-efficient and technical course of action," Abendschein said.

Such an effort, however, would come with its own challenges. Some residents may prefer gas appliances to electrical ones. Others may have recently purchased or upgraded their gas infrastructure. Still, others may be unable to afford electrification or unwilling to pay more than $15,000 to electrify their homes.

Commissioner Greg Scharff, a former council member, cautioned staff against moving too fast to create broad mandates on energy. That task, he argued at the Feb. 3 meeting, is best left to the state.

"I think we all agree that climate change is the single biggest threat facing us at the moment," Scharff said. "There is some question in my mind frankly about … how much money we're going to spend on this, and what that does to change the community, and the unrest it will cost once people figure it out — versus, frankly, the benefits of statewide action on something like this, which is more conducive to how you actually move something forward like this."

To address potential resident concerns, Utilities Department officials are exploring mechanisms such as on-bill financing, which would allow homeowners to finance electrification upgrades by paying "efficiencies fees" on their bills over a long period. This, Abendschein said, would allow homeowners to pay for electric systems over many years without having to take on debt and without having these obligations affect their credit scores. And because the goal is to electrify buildings rather than tax residents, obligations for paying these fees would shift when a home is sold.

The Utilities Department is also trying to make electrification more attractive by packaging with two other municipal services: the extension of the city's fiber network to homes (also known as "Fiber to the Premises") and the undergrounding of overhead electric equipment.

Commissioner A.C. Johnston said the city also needs to allay people's concerns about the resiliency of all-electric buildings.

"Until people are comfortable that they're going to be able to have power, they're going to be reluctant to give up gas, which is kind of an alternative source when the power goes down," Johnston said.

Commissioners said they were excited about staff's proposed approach, which focuses on education and outreach in its earliest phases and which is prioritizing incentives over mandates. They also noted that when it comes to evaluating the city's climate action plans, the devil will be in the details. Some of these details will be publicized in April or May, when Utilities staff plans to release reports outlining specific actions that would need to be taken and the costs of implementing these options.

Even though that analysis won't be out until later this year, Commissioner Don Jackson lauded staff's approach to advance the 80x30 goal, including its focus on education and on early adopters.

"If those early adopters and volunteers have reasonable experiences, it helps the snowball start rolling down the hill," Jackson said. "That's a good thing."

Bret Andersen, a member of Carbon Free Palo Alto who supported the council's adoption of the 80x30 goal, said he found the latest signals from the city encouraging. Palo Alto officials are at last coming around to an idea that his group has been advocating for years: focusing on reducing gas use in buildings.

Andersen told this news organization that he believes the city will have to adopt a mandate for building electrification to meet its emissions goals. Before it does so, however, the Utilities Department needs to make sure that residents have an easy and affordable way to make the needed change.

Given that the city owns its utilities, it is well-positioned to make this happen, even despite the years of delays in getting the programs implemented. And strong leadership by the city in promoting — and, ultimately, mandating — building electrification is necessary if Palo Alto were to meet its goals on emission reductions, he said.

"What's clear is that we can't do it by waiting for the free market to provide the incentives," Andersen said. "We don't have time now."

Comments

Since_1978
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:24 pm
Since_1978, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Carbon offsets currently are priced at around $17/ton. The City should not mandate changes that do not yield an economical offset.

I use about 240 therms of natural gas per year to heat my home. At 12 lbs CO2 per therm, that's 1.4 tons of CO2/year, which I could offset for $24/year. Spending $15,000 to avoid $24/year is insane - a 625 year break-even at 0%!

Of course, converting a home to electrical heat involves substantial energy costs, so it's nearly certain that mandating home electrification will cause a net increase in CO2 emission.


Since_1978
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm
Since_1978, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm

Also - contrary to Greg Scharf's claim, we do not all agree that climate change is the single biggest threat facing us at the moment. As this article shows, ignorance and innumeracy are terrible threats, along with misguided and destructive government mandates.

The number one place where we will help the world is to get micronutrients and medicines to the world's poorest children - a $63 benefit for each $1 spent. Other key areas are expanding malaria treatment ($35 benefit per $1 spent), immunization for children, and deworming. Ending tariffs on exports from the poorest countries will help lift millions out of poverty. Read more at the Copenhagen Consensus.


Resident11
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:49 pm
Resident11, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Homes with clean energy sell for higher prices. This is a good investment and on-bill financing makes it possible. I wouldn't want to own the last gas house on the block.


neighbor
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm
neighbor, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm

As I write this, people are dying in Texas due to atmospheric-pollution-related extreme weather.

Unfortunately, I'm skeptical about seeing dramatic progress (re pollution reduction) within Palo Alto. I've had a chance to speak with many of the local players about 80x30. My experience has been that most residents are "concerned" enough about the problem that they want somebody, somewhere, to do something about it. As Commissioner Scharff suggests, few people want to start significant pollution-reduction actions by making changes in their own lifestyle (let's buy a cheeseburger and a milkshake while on the way to the airport in your car...).

On-bill financing, and adding electrification to "Fiber to the Premises" while undergrounding overhead electric equipment both sound promising (truly). However, if residents don't understand how to connect the dots between poor people dying in Houston and the pollution we create here, why should they want to contribute money or time to come up with solutions?

In my opinion, the next step the City should take is a simple educational campaign about the moral urgency behind the reasons for a radical reduction in greenhouse gas pollution - causes and consequences. Fortunately, Palo Alto Online already provides a good example of this with its blog: A New Shade of Green.

Thank you,
David Page


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:10 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Two things that must be taken into account while discussing this.

At present most homes are using way more electricity than normal. People are working from home, doing school from home, etc. Heating, water usage, and of course additional use of lights, computers, and charging are all drawing on the need for reliable power supplies. Additionally EVs are becoming ever more popular. At present our power reliability is very poor. For someone working from home, or a student doing school from home, the power going out is a major problem. PA Utilities have to prioritize the reliability of power before anyone makes a decision to become all electric.

Our city budget finances, we are told, are in a downward spiral. Anything that is going to cost the City money is not a good idea at present. So the big question has to be how much any of these "ideas" cost?


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:31 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Another consultant gravy train and ironic timing. Did we forget all the PG&E rolling blackouts in part because they decommissioned the cheaper gas plants too fast without coming up with a backup plan?

When's the city going to process those payments due to us re the successful citizen lawsuit filed against its historic "surcharges" aka overcharges that have averaged $20,000,000 for the ;past 5 years?? This lawsuit was limited to overcharges for electric rates.

When last reported, the city attorney was trying to find another way to stall those payments to us. I hope they'll be applying credit card-like interest rate of 18+% to us.


Mike Bechler
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 19, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Mike Bechler, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2021 at 12:32 pm

"That means we will likely need to commit heavily to single-family residential electrification as ... our most cost-efficient and technical course of action," Abendschein said.

Nonsense. They're ignoring the lowest-hanging fruit on the tree.

Time the traffic lights on residential arterial streets. No measure on the table could be less of a burden on the residents and visitors to Palo Alto than this. It will increase mileage, saving heaps of fuel. It will also reduce wear and tear on both nerves and automobiles, and it will reduce traffic accidents as people slow down and fewer people run red lights. 30 mph without stops gets you there just as fast as 45 mph with unpredictable stops.

You can still do all those other things, but do the easiest first. Show that you mean it and make something happen.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm

@Mike Bechler, ABSOLUTELY about fixing the traffic light timing. It's not like the city hasn't awarded multi-million-dollar contracts to its former transportation heads after they left office and after they failed to fix it while they were still working for the city.

I shudder to think how long I've been complaining about the Town & Country lights. Absolutely absurd the amount of time I've sat at those lights when there's no traffic or any expected at midnight from T&C or PALY.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Feb 19, 2021 at 2:02 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2021 at 2:02 pm

So the proposal is to force single family homeowners into expensive upgrades just because they can't figure out how to do it for commercial buildings? Isn't that the trail wagging the dog.


Marie
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Marie, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Single home electrification is a feel good solution. I'm all in favor of reducing fossil fuels. But much of the electricity in this country is generated by natural gas. Even if we don't buy it, natural gas is fungible. Increased electricity usage could easily increase overall use of natural gas or worse, coal. And using natural gas to heat homes directly is far more efficient than electricity generated by gas.

I would much rather see the city look at microgrids of locally generated electricity to replace existing sources of electricity than a feel good proposal that would have minimal impact on natural gas production and, oh yes, cost us consumers a lot more.


wmconlon
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 19, 2021 at 7:19 pm
wmconlon, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 19, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Truth is the first thing that dies in a war, and so it is with the City's approach to climate change.

The truth is that the city is a leader in deception and denial.

The deceit comes from asserting that climate neutrality means electrification will reduce emissions. The truth is that the city's portfolio is only carbon neutral on paper. The denial is the refusal to candidly recognize that our carbon-free electricity supply is not coincident with our electricity demand. The result is that the city depends on market power which relies on natural gas. This is a perverse twist on climate change denial.

Without truly aligning carbon-free energy resources with our electricity demand, further electrification will be served by the marginal generating resource, in other words the MOST carbon intensive resource. To be clear, and redundant, absent true decarbonization of the city electric supply, electrification risks MORE GHG emissions.

When I analysed the electric supply and demand about 5 years ago, CPAU had about 80 MW of base load (round the clock) demand, with peaks at about 170 MW five days a week in the afternoon. Clearly the city needs about 80 MW of baseload carbon-free power-- geothermal, hydro, or nuclear.

Hydro isn't available year round unfortunately and CPAU sells a lot of it, and nuclear is closing. While geothermal is expensive, let's compare it to the economic burden of 80/30 before we commit to a path with unintended (but evident) consequences.


BGordon
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 20, 2021 at 9:53 am
BGordon, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2021 at 9:53 am

I prefer to tax green house gases rather than mandate electrification. Green house gases hide in electric cars, in electricity, and in almost everything we consume. When the electricity is out, I like to have gas for cooking and boiling water. Reliability and backups are important. Mandating a single point failure is not a good idea. GHG taxation will bias the market in the right direction while allowing for considering reliability and other things.


StarSpring
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:26 pm
StarSpring, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:26 pm

We should put these people to work on figuring out the CalTrain grade crossings. Climate change is a global issue requiring a global response, like RIGHT NOW.

As Jim Croce said "You don't spit into the wind." It it tiring to see Palo Alto doing all this posturing instead of managing the city for the good of its residents.


AlexDeLarge
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:34 pm
AlexDeLarge, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:34 pm

"We're doomed, doomed I say." - Dr Zachary Smith esteemed intergalactic psychologist
I hardly think the city council has the capacity of contending with climate change, they couldn't even manage Foothills Park.


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:47 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2021 at 3:47 pm

After messing up Ross Avenue we are going to this bunch in charge of fixing climate change. Have a good laugh everyone.


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2021 at 10:24 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2021 at 10:24 pm

The idea is good.
The need is great.
And many residents cannot actually afford to buy new major appliances, new water heaters, a heat pump system, etc. and pay to have it all installed. That’s a pile of money.
Not surprised this is plan has stalled.
Time and again, a carbon tax has been shown to be the most effective tool to counter climate change. Enact that, then use some/all of the proceeds to subsidize home conversion to electrical for qualified lower income households. And maybe small businesses?


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2021 at 9:49 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2021 at 9:49 pm

Wow, what a great thread with informative posts! Thank you, all. I’m learning and thinking how to engage on this. Please forward this thread to friends and neighbors in Palo Alto! Useful!


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