Our future relies on renewable energy. Moving our world — locally and globally — away from dangerous fossil fuels and into renewable energy solutions is critical to reduce toxic air pollution, safeguard communities, avoid devastating oil spills in the Salish Sea, and halt climate change. We need bold, continued action in Washington and beyond to enact clean energy policies and rapidly increase investments in renewables.
RE Sources works with a range of stakeholders and coalitions at the state and local levels to promote the rapid transition to renewable energy. Regardless of the barriers clean energy faces nationally, our community has shown time and time again will lead the way, create models and build the renewable energy future for our families, local environment and global climate.
All-electric buildings: Gas is the past
(Read more in the Build Electric Bellingham tab above)
To address climate change and work toward climate goals, we have to power more of our lives and our world with clean energy instead of polluting fossil fuels. Reducing gas used in new construction is step one.
Buildings are the fastest-growing source of carbon pollution in Washington state, mostly due to the emissions from burning gas in furnaces, water heaters and other gas appliances. This pollution accelerates climate change and poses significant respiratory health risks for families and communities, especially children, the elderly, and communities of color and people living on lower incomes who are already disproportionately bearing the burden of outdoor air pollutants.
Now, we can use modern electric appliances for heating, water heating and cooking that run on our increasingly clean electricity to reduce pollution from burning fossil gas. All electric new construction today is cheaper, cleaner and safer.
Just as utilities, cities and our state have led for cleaning up our electricity generation, we need them to lead on access to clean electric appliances — to equitably address the pollution from homes and buildings.
Bellingham climate policy
Though climate is a global challenge, the necessary solutions must happen at a local level. We’re going through transformative shifts in the way energy is produced, distributed, and consumed.
RE Sources is advocating for ambitious, equitable approaches to transition away from fossil fuels toward clean and affordable energy sources. Decarbonization, electrification, and energy efficiency must occur in concert.
The City of Bellingham is moving to become a leader in municipal climate action, with identified ambitions of meeting the community’s energy needs for heating and transportation with 100% renewable energy by 2035. See what the Bellingham Climate Action Task Force proposed in 2019.
Currently, most of Bellingham’s energy use is from fossil fuels. Buildings consume over half their energy directly from fracked methane gas, and over half of our electricity from coal and gas-power plants.
Washington State’s Clean Energy Transformation Act passed in 2019, requiring utilities to cut out coal power by 2025, become carbon neutral by 2030, and phase out fossil fuels from our electric grid entirely by 2045. This means enormous infrastructural build-out of wind and solar power generation, distribution and storage, and innovations in grid technology and efficiency. With this law on track to be implemented, the next step of the transition is to rapidly electrify our transportation and heating systems over the next 25 years.
RE Sources partnered with two Whatcom County companies — Ecotech Solar and Itek Energy — on our Washington Goes Solar! program, which successfully outfitted 40 homes and businesses with solar arrays. Ecotech and Itek then donated a panel to The RE Store for every home or business that went solar as a result of learning the benefits at our workshops. Our goal was to break down barriers for people who hadn’t realized solar was a good fit for them. Stop by The RE Store and check out the amazing bank of solar panels on our building, bringing us renewable energy even in rainy Bellingham! Learn more about Washington Goes Solar.
We aren’t currently offering this program, but hope to in the future. Sign up for our newsletters to be the first to know.
RE Sources is an active member of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, a statewide coalition of individuals, organizations, Tribes, labor, faith communities, and businesses dedicated to reducing global warming pollution, strengthening the economy, and making sure all families have a better future. The Alliance advances statewide policy initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and build a clean energy future. Learn more at jobscleanenergywa.com.