Urban Decarbonization is Essential for the Health of Our Planet 04/21/22
By Michael Cunningham, Service Sales Manager, JM Electrical Company, Inc.
Carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions have a detrimental effect on the environment and are widely recognized as the primary cause of climate change.
A dangerous pollutant, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere each and every time fossil fuels, whether coal and natural gas or oil are burned. The use of these toxic fossil fuels causes global warming and ultimately climate change. As a result of our longtime reliance on fossil fuels, the earth has been battered by violent storms, fast-moving wildfires, severe droughts, and extended heat waves. The impact of climate change on farms, grazing lands, our oceans other and natural habitats is devastating.
Over the years I have explored decarbonization and other strategies to minimize our industry’s carbon footprint. Since 2000, I have worked closely with my clients to guide and educate them on the many energy-saving options available to businesses, colleges and universities, hospitals and health care centers, and nonprofit institutions. At the outset, I helped clients convert from conventional HID and incandescent lighting to CFLs and then LEDs. In time we began to explore turnkey solutions for lighting upgrades and the installation of “green” lighting systems. Today, I help clients by furnishing and installing clean alternatives like energy-efficient lighting systems, Variable Frequency Drives, (VFDs), heat pumps, and Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations that can dramatically reduce energy use.
Decarbonization and myriad other clean energy solutions that are easily replicable in urban settings are crucial to lowering the overall carbon output. Some cities like Boston have directives such as BERDO 2.0., mandates that will compel building owners and operators to make essential improvements to meet new energy guidelines. Those not fully embracing these timely mandates introduced by the City of Boston will face steep fines. More importantly, they will contribute to an unhealthy environment.
The many options available to building owners and property managers can sometimes be overwhelming. However, meeting new, stricter emissions standards can be achieved by investing in energy-efficient tools and technologies, fuel switching, installing renewable energy and geothermal systems, investing in Building Envelope Improvements, upgrading appliances, and rethinking building operations and controls.
Forming a committee to create baseline standards and defining the areas in need of improvement can be a great first step in understanding the true scope of the new policy requirements.
JM Electrical Company Inc. has been actively involved in a number of energy efficiency update projects. From the installation of solar panels, energy-efficient lighting and clean, green HVAC systems and electrical vehicle charging stations, we are doing our part to help clients meet their decarbonization goals. While many of these energy-saving solutions have incentives and offer a significant ROI, it is important to remember that even incremental improvements help reduce carbon production and support a healthier future for our planet.