It seems as though several times every year, an electrical outage leaves families without power for days or even weeks. Most of us remember what happened in Texas this winter, for example, when 4.3 million people were left in the cold and dark – while in New York City, a recent heatwave caused the city to issue an emergency text alert asking people to reduce their electrical usage to avoid massive power outages.
These incidents serve as a cautionary tale for many reasons, but they’re particularly important when you consider that many state governments – including our own – are plowing full speed ahead on all-out electrification plans to stave off carbon emissions. Those plans include making it mandatory to convert your home heating system – something you’ll have to do at your own expense.
At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, we believe that immediate and aggressive steps must be taken to address climate change. But however well-intended, the full-on conversion to electric power is not a sensible solution.
For one thing, a full switch-over to electricity relies on breakthroughs in technology that are still years away. For another, the grid isn’t ready for the load: as we’ve seen already, it is unreliable under strain. If we’re having these problems with occasional storms and short surges of air conditioner use, imagine what will happen when temperatures drop into the single digits for two weeks and we all have nothing but our electric heat pumps to keep us warm? And don’t forget, the grid will also need to power our cars, office buildings, stadiums, and other structures.
A more reasonable approach for everyone is to find solutions that immediately and dramatically shrink our collective carbon footprint without relying on wholesale changes in equipment and additional tax burdens. To reduce our carbon output, we need to take a multi-sided approach to the problem by improving our home energy efficiency, incorporating alternative fuels, and making lifestyle changes – all of which we frequently talk about on this blog.
The bottom line: We need thoughtful policy and thoughtful actions that address our climate needs without putting all our eggs in one fragile energy basket. At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, we’re doing all we can to be a part of that more sensible solution.