A new approach to slashing greenhouse gas emissions, it’s called “energy optimization,” and it combines energy efficiency with fuel-swapping: replacing technologies that burn fossil fuels with those that use electricity.
While the name may be new to you, you may already be doing it. Have you replaced your gas-guzzling car with an electric one? You get an efficient vehicle while reducing the market for a climate-killing fossil fuel. That’s energy optimization.
And while the electricity that powers your car may be generated by burning coal or fracked gas, or by nuclear power, we are moving quickly toward the time when all our electricity will be generated from clean, safe, renewable sources like solar, wind, and geothermal. Energy optimization helps accelerate that trend.
Healthy Electric Alternatives
PSR will focus on promoting healthy electric alternatives to heating, cooling and cooking with “natural” gas, aka methane. Reducing the demand for methane, a terribly potent greenhouse gas, will help to slow climate change.
In addition to its climate effects, burning methane in the home results in potentially dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants, especially nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides decrease oxygen absorption and weaken the lungs and contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter.
Photo: A. Krasner
Hopes to work with the Denver City Council and the Department of Health & Environment to educate broadly about the need for electrification and to support changes in the law that might make fuel-swapping more feasible.
Is identifying opportunities to advocate for health-protective legislation, such as bills that would require new home and building construction to be all-electric or all-clean-energy.
Will seek to extend the benefits of electrification to low-income communities and communities most affected by fossil fuels and climate change. They will also shine a light on the efforts of SoCalGas to undermine the pro-electrification movement.
1 in 3
of households currently cook using gas.
Gas Stoves and Air Pollution
Gas stoves produce dangerous levels of indoor air pollution, in addition to worsening the climate crisis.
potential annual savings from switching to a heat pump
Heat Pumps Replace Gas Heating
Switching to an efficient electric heat pump for home heating can save up to 50% on heating bills.
PSR's "Health Harms from Gas Stoves" Project educates health professionals about the health effects of using methane gas appliances in the home and what health professionals, patients, and individuals can do to reduce their risk of exposure. Learn more
Clean Technica article quoting PSR-Los Angeles’ Edgar Barrazza.
In 2023, the PSR Environment & Health team’s strategic highlighting of the health effects of energy choices helped to change policies across the nation.
Public News Service article quoting Washington PSR’s Dr. Mark Vossler.