Sign our petition to stop subsidizing gas in DC's energy efficiency program
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Dear Director Wells,
We the undersigned DC residents ask that the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) require the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) to end its subsidies for gas-burning appliances and other fossil fuel systems. The money saved should be used to support homeowners and residents who want to convert from fossil fuel to clean electric appliances. Robust support for residents and property owners in low-income communities is especially important.
The Mayor’s Clean Energy DC plan establishes DC’s most important climate commitments: a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2032, and carbon neutrality by 2050. The Clean Energy DC plan states, “Achieving its 2050 GHG carbon neutral target will require the District to eliminate fossil fuel use.”
DCSEU spends $20 million a year in incentives for energy measures, including millions of dollars on gas systems, which still depend upon the extraction, transmission and combustion of fossil fuels. This is incompatible with DC’s own plan to end our reliance on fossil fuels to mitigate the climate crisis.
The millions of dollars DCSEU will save by ending incentives for gas combustion can instead be invested in highly-efficient heating and cooling technologies based on clean renewable energy, such as heat pumps. Other states are already doing this: Maine aims to have 100,000 heat pumps in place by 2025, and New York provides a rebate of up to $10,000 for heat pump installation. DCSEU should set up a similar program to incentivize heat pump installations.
DCSEU’s current five-year contract expires in 2021. DOEE’s next DCSEU contract must not include subsidies for systems that burn fossil fuels. Instead the new contract must offer robust support for clean energy and highly efficient heat pump systems, especially for low-income households.