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Climate Action Blog Series: Three Ways to Act Locally to Have a Global Impact

Learn ways to take climate action now by preparing your home to make a global impact

Palo Alto has long been a leader in sustainability, making impressive progress towards reducing its carbon impacts, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and resource consumption. The City Council has set “Climate Change- Protection and Adaptation” as a Council priority for 2022 and through rebates, programs and more, the City is providing tools for residents to make better choices in their homes by moving away from natural gas appliances and taking advantage of Palo Alto’s carbon neutral electricity. Reducing emissions within Palo Alto starts with its residents. This blog shares three ways to act locally through home improvements, that can have a global impact on climate change.

Looking to create change that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment? Get the gas out through switching to electric appliances such as water heaters, induction cooktop, and more.

1. Check It Out! Identify the End-of-Life Date on Your Water Heater

Depending on the model and fuel source of your water heater, the lifetime could be anywhere between 8 and 20 years. If your water heater is over 10 years old, it’s probably time to consider an upgrade. Signs that your water heater is due for a replacement include leaking water from the tank, loud noises, rusty or cloudy water, and inefficient heating after you turn on the hot water tap. To learn how to check the end-of-life-date of your water heater go here.

If your water heater needs to be replaced, the best replacement option is a heat pump water heater. Heat pump water heaters are powered by Palo Alto’s 100% carbon neutral electricity and are better for the environment, produce less air pollutants, and are more efficient — which in turn, saves you money. Heat pump water heater rebates are available to all Palo Alto residents and can save you up to $1,200 when you make the switch away from gas. To learn more about heat pump water heaters and available rebates go here.

2. Chef It Up! Try Out Your Favorite Dish on an Induction Cooktop

Upgrading your home is not only the environmentally friendly thing to do, but it can also be fun. Induction cooking is the future of the world’s kitchen cooktops. Induction offers a safer, faster, more efficient, and climate-friendly way to cook your food than gas-powered cooking. Switching to induction cooking is a great way to lower levels of harmful pollutants in your home and lower your carbon footprint. They are also easy to clean, heats up quickly, and allows for precise temperature setting. In fact, 95% of residents who have tested out an induction cooktop have been impressed with its performance and would consider switching from gas to induction for their next cooktop.

Watch the video below to find out what professional chefs think about induction cooking.

Induction Loaner Kit from Acterra

If you want to test one out for yourself, Acterra offers an induction loaner program. Visit their website for information about borrowing an induction cooktop as well as their monthly induction cooking classes.

3. Assess Your Home! Get a Home Efficiency Assessment

Home Efficiency Genie is a tool created by the City of Palo Alto to provide free over-the- phone and in person energy and water efficiency advice for all Palo Alto residents. Genie advisors provide expert and impartial guidance to save you money and keep you comfortable.

A Genie House Call provides a checkup of your home and identifies where energy and water are being wasted by leaks, drafts, faulty equipment, and more. Genie House Calls includes an Efficiency Assessment of: heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system(s), domestic hot water system(s), attic, floor, and wall insulation, lighting efficiency, windows, and major appliances. Plus, our experts will assess the buildings leakage using diagnostic equipment, test the duct system and any leakage, and provide a whole-house infrared camera scan and evaluation. An optional Home Electrification Readiness Assessment will be provided and if needed, free direct install of efficiency products in qualifying homes, including:

  • 6 LED light bulbs
  • Tier-2 Advanced Power Strip
  • High-efficiency shower head
  • Faucet aerators

Obtaining a Home Efficiency Assessment enables you to take climate action now to prepare for and begin upgrading your home.

Learn more and schedule your Home Efficiency Assessment here.

For other ways to make better home choices, see the quick illustration below on different ways to electrify home appliances and more.

To learn more, go here.

CLIMATE ACTION EVENTS

Induction Cooking Class

Tuesday, June 7 and Thursday June 23 | 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Virtual

Join Acterra for this live cooking class as Chef Kelvin dives into cultural, plant-forward cuisines. This cooking series is designed to teach the benefits of a plant-forward diet and unique cooking techniques on an induction cooktop while having the opportunity to use a personal induction cooktop provided by Acterra or your own cooktop. Register here.

Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Ad Hoc Committee Meeting

Tuesday, June 14 | 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. | Virtual

The next S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee meeting will focus on the Residential Building Electrification Working Group Teams updates and their progress to-date. Meeting materials will be posted on the S/CAP Ad Hoc Committee page in advance of the meeting. Registration is required to attend. Learn more and register here.

Municipal Service Center Open House

Saturday, June 18 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | 3201 E Bayshore Road, Palo Alto

The City of Palo Alto is hosting an Open House at the Municipal Services Center (MSC) to showcase some of the “behind the scenes” work that we do for the community. Staff working on sustainability topics such as water conservation, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and zero waste will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. Plus, Acterra is attending to host an EV Expo — check out what an EV looks like, learn about rebates, and ask your EV related questions. Join us and bring the family for a fun and educational day featuring demonstrations and displays, food, music, and other activities! Learn more here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND GET MORE ONLINE RESOURCES

  • Sign up to receive the monthly Sustainability Newsletter here
  • For details on the City’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and all S/CAP Ad Hoc meeting materials go to: www.cityofpaloalto.org/climateaction
  • Read the previous Climate Blog Series postings here to learn more about previous Ad Hoc meetings
  • To learn how to save water year-round, go here: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/water
  • For more on the City’s Electrification programs, go here: www.cityofpaloalto.org/electrification
  • For more on the City’s Green Building Program including Trainings, go here
  • For more on Zero Waste programs, including tools to avoid food waste, go here

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