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Right now, the energy transition is focusing on the Grid. It is where the ZEV, building, industry and generation all meet. It is also where there will be future jobs. Jobs with Heating and Cooling, Electricians, Plumbing and more. Jobs connecting EVs and retrofitting exciting houses for the energy transition. 

If you want to join CleanStart in accelerating this transition, reach out to our Executive Director, Thomas Hall.

A constant refrain, “This transition needs to be equitable.” I think by definition it has to be. We all need to decarbonize; it would be fruitless to ignore any community. However, we cannot be complacent. If Sacramento Takes the lead as a green city, we can leverage funds for the energy transition and be a giant boost to communities.  Fortunately, the things that make a more resilient energy system can also improve the quality of life in all communities. 

Weatherization and heat pumps create more efficient buildings, decreasing the demand on the grid while improving comfort. Being able to cool living and working spaces without the same increased cost. Other technologies like Electric Water Heaters, smart kitchens, and smart thermostats can help with demand response. Programs like CRPs weatherization program or Grid Alternatives Solar in underserved communities are examples of regional success. They train people and they improve the quality of life where they live. 

But we can go bigger. With a Community Energy Project to electrify everything. We can bring together resources to train people in the community, improve where they work and live, all while decarbonizing. Connecting technologies like mobility with ZEVs, generation with smart homes, energy efficiency with storage in a larger project. Showing they all can work together. 

This needs to involve local businesses in the service sector, working in their communities. SMUD has experience working with larger businesses for demand response programs to benefit the community and company. If we bring several businesses together in the community to work together, they could leverage those benefits, too.

There is grant funding and incentives from government at all levels.They all have a focus on equity and/or positive community impact. The Sacramento region is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these funds, recruit companies, create access for the community, and lead the energy transition. We already have strong community groups providing resources.

This is a daunting project. If it were as easy as I mentioned, then everyone would do it.  There are several groups trying. There is San Diego Gas & Electric Microgrids and in Massachusetts the community is coming together around one. The Sacramento Region should be the leader on this list. We have the community to make it happen, to improve people’s quality of life and prepare us for the ture. 

Because of existing strong community groups focusing on both equity and energy, because we have SMUD (singular point as a ISO and Utility), because we have groups focusing on the energy transition, we have an opportunity to leverage those, support local companies and attract investment in our communities.

We can be a connected city innovating with technologies, improving people’s life, providing future jobs, and leading the energy transition.  Join CleanStart in making this happen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Thomas is the Executive Director of CleanStart. Thomas has a strong background in supporting small businesses, leadership, financial management and is proficient in working with nonprofits. He has a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from California State University, Chico. Thomas has a passion for sustainability and a commitment to supporting non-profits in the region.

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