Preparing our SV workforce for clean, all-electric buildings and appliances

Silicon Valley Business Journal

Our energy landscape is changing rapidly. More than 50% of California’s electricity now comes from clean sources, such as solar and wind, and that number will be 100% by 2045, according to the executive order put into place by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018’s Senate Bill 100. New building codes increasingly favor “all-electric” construction and electric vehicle sales continue to grow. This emerging transition to a clean, all-electric future is creating exciting growth opportunities for building contractors and tradespeople prepared to meet the challenge.

A majority of buildings in our region are mixed fuel, meaning they use both electricity and natural gas. Gas is primarily used for water and space heating as well as cooking, while electricity powers the rest – lighting, cooling, and other appliances. Historically, gas appliances were cleaner and more efficient for heating. But as we often see here in Silicon Valley, electric technology advancements have changed that equation, and are now disrupting the way energy is produced, and buildings are built.

A driving force for this transition from gas to clean electricity in buildings comes from increasing concerns around climate change. Through the growing Community Choice Energy movement, many communities across California have demanded a switch to clean energy sources, spurring new renewable energy projects that are cleaning up the electric grid. More than 150 cities have committed to using 100% renewable electricity, including many here in Silicon Valley.

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