Energy use in the region has risen overall since 2015, with a 8% increase in demand for electricity and a 19% increase in demand for natural gas. Despite increasing energy use, overall emissions from buildings and energy have dropped since 2015 due in large part to decreases in the emissions intensity of electricity. Renewable energy production has risen sharply in recent years, with total generating capacity in 2022 nearly 5 times the generating capacity in 2015.
Reduce energy use in both existing and new buildings. Reducing energy use not only reduces emissions but also saves business owners and residents money in utility costs. Actions to support this strategy include providing incentives for energy efficiency measures such as tax exemptions or land use incentives, requiring energy performance ratings so that potential buyers and renters can be informed, updating development codes, and more.
Increase the production of local renewable energy. Producing local renewable energy can increase local resiliency, decrease costs to ratepayers, and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. Actions to support this strategy include creating group solar purchasing programs, amending local codes to support solar-ready construction, and more.
Convert to cleaner fuel sources. Washington State’s Clean Energy Transformation Act requires electricity providers in our state to shift to 100% clean energy by 2045. With a cleaner electrical grid in place, the next step is shifting away from the use of natural gas and other polluting fuel sources. Actions to support this strategy include educating business owners and residents on electric appliance options and benefits, phasing out natural gas connections in new buildings, and more.