Two dozen groups have come together to form the Go All Electric coalition to help organizations transition to clean energy.
The Go All Electric AMPED campaign will use outreach, advertising and communication to connect organizations with information and resources to support their transition to clean energy use.
Because the majority of local emissions come from building heating systems and on-road vehicles, the focus of the campaign is to encourage and support the transition of area organizations’ buildings and vehicles to technologies that are powered by carbon-free electricity, rather than fossil fuels, officials said.
“Our region’s power grid is already amongst the cleanest in the nation due to the high number of fossil fuel-free energy sources: wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear power,” said Climate Solutions Accelerator Executive Director Abby McHugh-Grifa. “So when we plug-in versus pipe-in or fill-up, we are dramatically lowering our carbon footprint.”
Officials noted that when businesses, schools, nonprofits, churches and other organizations act as leaders in the transition to clean energy, they impact not only their own use of buildings and vehicles but also influence their employees and customers. Improvements in technology and affordability mean they have much to gain economically, while also potentially addressing significant challenges in adapting to new climate policy requirements.
“Our region’s economic development is very much linked to impacts from climate change,” said Jenny Lowenstein, planner, Genesee/Finger Lakes Region Planning Council. “Our progress in transitioning to clean energy consumption helps create jobs to produce, sell and install heat pumps, charging stations and electric vehicles. Protecting our area’s natural beauty and clean air is critical to attracting employers and workers.”
Buildings that use heat pumps for heating and cooling benefit from both lower operating costs (in some cases, more than 50 percent) and improved indoor air quality, while providing a more stable temperature. This has been a significant benefit to the Henrietta Public Library, having installed a heat pump system in its new library in 2018.
“The temperature in here is very consistent. It’s something that we don’t have to think about, which, from a management standpoint, is wonderful,” said Adrienne Pettinelli, library director.
The AMPED campaign was developed through a process facilitated by Causewave Community Partners and funded by the Climate Solutions Accelerator, Greater Rochester Clean Cities, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and the city of Rochester. Collaborators in the campaign included representatives from those funders and Center for Community Health & Prevention, Common Ground Health, Dutton Properties, EMCOR Betlem, Empire State Development, Gallina Development, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, Genesee Transportation Council, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Monroe County, PathStone Corp., Piekunka Systems Inc., Rochester Gas and Electric Corp., Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester Housing Authority, Rochester Regional Health, Regional Transit Service, SWBR and University of Rochester.
“We are all about collaborating with organizations to tackle big community issues,” said Todd Butler, Causewave president and CEO. “The risks and current impacts of climate change affect everyone in our community and it’s critical that we take action to reduce human-controlled causes. The AMPED campaign will help organization leaders take concrete steps to implement beneficial electrification in their institutions.”
The free webinar series, “Get AMPED Forum,” will happen monthly with the first event scheduled for Sept. 30, titled “Road to Electrification”. Details and registration can be found on ampedproject.org.
The campaign encompasses a nine-county area in the New York Finger Lakes Region including Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.
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