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Here’s Denver’s climate-friendly plan to bring air conditioning to more residents – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-16 05:55:00 –

As temperatures rise to three digits in Denver on Tuesday, the city’s climate behavior, sustainability and resilience offices outline steps to help city residents stay comfortable and safe against future heat waves. Announced plans to show. Likely to get worse — Without further damage to the environment.

According to the city, about 30% of Denver homes do not have air conditioning, most of which are old or low-income homes. As temperatures continue to rise, Denver residents are vulnerable to the health risks posed by excessive heat.

This report outlines the steps to replace traditional gas spaces and water heaters with renewable energy-powered, more efficient electric heat pumps, while prioritizing communities that are already in need.

Grace Link, Executive Director of CASR, said: “The move to an all-electric heat pump that provides both heating and cooling is a smarter and more efficient investment that helps residents stay cool in hot summers and warm in winter.” Severe wildfires and frequent mountains. With increasing air pollution from wildfires, traditional cooling methods such as opening windows and using wetland coolers are no longer sound options. “

The city plan offers seven options for partial or full electrification and outlines the costs of doing so. Replacement can be expensive, but Xcel Energy offers rebates — According to the report, up to $ 1,000 based on options — helps offset costs. In three of the four home replacement case studies included in the report, the cost of operating a new system is equal to or slightly higher than that of a natural gas system.

The city’s efforts are part of a state-wide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forcing people to give up natural gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters and stoves. Switching to an electric version powered by a 100% renewable energy source is an important step in reducing climate pollution. State officials and process supporters say..

The city’s plans come after an unprecedented wildfire season in which the three worst fires in Colorado’s recorded history ignited each other within a few months. Denver was also ranked 8th in the county for the worst ozone pollution In the 2020 Pollution Assessment of the American Lung Association.

Gas is typically used to heat and cool homes throughout the city. According to the report, about 97% of the gas consumed in Denver buildings and homes is used to heat water and indoor spaces. According to the city, emissions from these two processes account for almost a quarter of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the added comfort air conditioning that can be brought during future heat waves, electric heat pumps have the potential to reduce city emissions. Xcel Energy, the city’s utility, Promised to provide 80% of electricity through renewable energy by 2030 And 100% by 2050.

However, prices can be a barrier for some households considering switching. Natural gas usually costs less than electricity in most cases.

But gasoline prices fluctuate — Like during the Deep Freeze in February —According to the report, households that choose to electrify may be able to save on utility bills over time.

According to the report, some nonprofits, including those servicing income-qualified, multi-family, affordable homes, are eligible for a full refund to cover material and installation costs. There may be. To qualify, Xcel Energy needs to determine that electrical equipment is cost-effective, the report said.

The city plans to begin the transition to electrification with a “step-by-step approach,” saying that most of the work will continue from this year to 2024 and some activities will continue until 2040.

State legislators passed a bill during the 2021 session requiring investor-owned utilities in the state to devise a profitable electrification program that includes programs for low-income or underprivileged families. did.

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