from Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
Our Board of Directors voted to oppose Building Decarbonization Rulemaking regarding electrification/decarbonization and have our CEO, Lisa Cohen speak before the 9/12/19 California Public Utilities Commission Hearing that was held at California State University in Los Angeles.
Lisa Cohen spoke before the Commissioners, with this message: Californians deserve a choice when it comes to the appliances and energy they use, especially when there are natural gas options, that are also in line with the state’s clean energy and climate goals. A balanced energy approach preserves that fundamental right to choose, minimizes costs and strengthens California’s economy.
Over 80 percent of homes and business in California use natural gas, as it is the preferred source for cooking and space and water heating and there is no law preventing customers from electrifying their homes or businesses if they so choose.
In the San Diego region, more than 800,000 homes and businesses count on natural gas for heating, cooking, and industrial processes.
We believe the state mandates to remove affordable natural gas from homes and businesses entirely, is misguided. The cost of living in California is among the highest in the nation. Eliminating natural gas from homes and businesses could significantly raise everyone’s energy bill, further compounding their financial burden.
Electricity costs more than natural gas. With electrification, a customer’s electricity usage will increase, and the costs associated with switching out gas appliances for electric ones and upgrading electrical panels where required will compound the financial impact.
There would also be a financial impact to businesses if they are required to switch from natural gas to electricity. Those costs would likely be passed on to consumers, further compounding the financial burden of such a policy.
When power disruptions occur due to natural disasters or other outages, natural gas can supply reliable backup power for longer durations, either as part of a microgrid system or a generator, than renewable generation and energy storage alone. Having a diverse energy supply that includes natural gas gives cities the ability to recover more quickly from disasters, increasing their resiliency. Doing away with gas in those segments will reduce system use overall, making the system less reliable and potentially unavailable to support resiliency and recovery during natural disasters, wildfires and other emergencies.
Natural gas is a foundational resource for baseload electric generation and enables renewable electricity in today’s system—it kicks in to ensure a continuous power supply when renewable sources go down. Renewable electricity is not always available when people need it. For example, the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Natural gas allows for the large-scale integration of renewable resources and gives us a continuous, reliable power supply to avoid blackouts.On behalf of my Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, we respectfully request Building Electrification/Decarbonization as an option not as a mandate!