“Better Living Beyond Fossil Fuels: Practical pathways off Oil & Gas”

As an early leader in the movement of cities to address climate change, Boulder has been among the first to conduct in-depth technical assessments of the emissions reduction options. Early stages of this work resulted in the realization that dramatic improvements in the electrical grid were essential. This was the original impetus for the exploration of forming a municipal utility.

More recent work demonstrates that in addition to cleaning up our electricity supply, we must also rapidly transition off the use of “natural” gas. New scientific and technical assessments have determined that methane gas is 84X more climate impacts than CO2. New findings also confirm that there are much higher leakage rates than previously anticipated—both in production and in municipal distribution systems. Together, these facts now suggest gas may be as or more climate destabilizing than coal.

Boulder has been an early leader in efforts to develop alternatives to gas use in buildings. It now leads a consortium of cities including NYC, Washington DC, Burlington, VT and 20 other observer cities who have been funded to work with manufacturers to accelerate a market transformation in the heating and cooling sector. In April, it will launch one of the first “natural” gas appliance replacement initiatives in the western US. Through this initiative, Boulder and Boulder County residents will be able to access significant rebates and technical assistance to replace their gas furnaces and water heaters with high-efficiency electric heat pump alternatives. When combined with solar, these appliances can dramatically reduce household emissions and, perhaps more importantly to homeowners, improve indoor air quality, provide additional cooling in a warming climate, and reduce dependence on a highly price volatile and dangerous fossil energy source.

Brett KenCairn, the City’s Senior Climate and Sustainability Coordinator will provide an overview of the rapidly growing movement to “electrify” the building and transportation sectors and discuss the specific opportunities and next steps in Boulder’s leadership in this important energy system transition.

Brett serves as the city of Boulder’s senior climate and sustainability coordinator. His primary responsibility is the ongoing evolution of the city’s climate action initiatives. He is also a team member on the city’s renewable energy strategy and action team. He currently manages a number of program areas including the city’s energy resilience project portfolio and then Building Electrification initiative. Prior to working for the city, Brett worked across the western US in both renewable energy development and community-based sustainable development. He has worked in rural, Native American and other communities in transition across the western US. He also is the founder or co-founder of four nonprofits and two for-profits including the Rogue River Institute for Ecology and Economy, Veterans Green Jobs, and Community Energy Systems.

Learn more about CRES, and the benefits of membership at https://www.cres-energy.org/

Parking is available in Lot 556
The West Entrance Circle Lot (550) is pay-by-hour at all times

6:45 Arrive, Light refreshments
7:00 Announcements, followed by the Presentation
8:15 Questions, Networking, Wrap-up and Clean-up

During the Announcements portion of the evening, we certainly encourage you to share info on upcoming events and/or job openings related to your organization or other organizations. If you have something you want to share with the group, and if you want that info posted on our Announcement slides, just send the info to bcres@cres-energy.org. The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) is dedicated to the advancement of all forms of renewable energy (RE), energy efficiency (EE), and their synergy with sustainability and economic development.