Petaluma, California—July 20, 2021–The Building Decarbonization Coalition (buildingdecarb.org) and Common Spark Consulting (common-spark.com)—leaders in the development of clean energy powered communities—announced the debut of The Flipside Report—calling for aggressive financial and public policy investment in targeted electrification to accelerate California’s transition away from fossil gas use.
The Flipside Report proposes a community-led, whole home and whole community approach to electrifying residences and commercial buildings as the pathway towards responsible reductions in gas usage. The report recommends implementing targeted decommissioning (‘Strategic Trimming’) of the gas pipeline network.
The report recommends that all the relevant California state agencies provide the regulatory reforms, financial resources, and leadership to ensure that electrification provides an accessible, cost effective and equitable solution for creating a decarbonized future.
The Flipside Report calls for dedicated funding to be provided to low income and vulnerable communities to support their transition toward all-electric homes and buildings. In addition, The Flipside Report urges that lawmakers implement anti-displacement and renter protection measures, and support programs that provide high quality job training and employment opportunities.
A Proactive, Progressive and Practical Path Towards Community Electrification, Equity and Empowerment:
The Flipside Report provides California’s policymakers with three key strategies for ensuring the state’s transition away from gas is equitable and cost-effective, avoiding otherwise anticipated skyrocketing gas costs to ratepayers:
PRIORITIZE INVESTMENT IN VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES:
- Provide resources and investment in trusted community-based organizations to lead and support a community-driven transition to electrification.
- Expand successful direct installation, integrated programs and approaches that provide subsidized and comprehensive energy upgrades to make electrification a cost-saving transition.
- Partner with affordable housing and housing rights advocates to establish tenant protection and anti-displacement measures that state or local agencies can adopt to limit rent increases and restrict evictions.
ACCELERATE INVESTMENTS IN NON-PIPELINES ALTERNATIVES:
- Develop cost recovery, financing and amortization solutions which encourage the decommissioning of pipeline networks and encourage utilities to invest towards clean energy and decarbonization goals.
REFORM THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT:
- Develop policies and regulations which encourage community based electrification, and a managed transition from gas based power that shares costs and benefits in an just and equitable way.
“The Flipside Report provides California—and our nation—a warning about the risks of moving away from gas without a clear plan. We must end our reliance on fossil fuels and move thoughtfully to a clean energy future in a responsible and cost-effective way,” said Michelle Vigen Ralston, Founder of Common Spark Consulting. “Implementing the report’s recommendations will ensure that communities take the lead in their own decarbonized future, and that the benefits of a clean energy economy are shared by everyone. The fight for climate change must be for our communities, not just for the climate itself.”
“The Flipside Report lays out the responsibility we have to our climate and our communities as we transition rapidly to clean electric alternatives and end the use of fossil gas,” said Panama Bartholomy, Executive Director of the Building Decarbonization Coalition “We must ensure that our transition to a clean energy economy results in a more equitable and affordable future for every resident of California and the entire country.”