I received an email from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) the other day. I was told “energy efficient natural gas is waiting for you” and I could receive a rebate of up to $3,550 “when you upgrade your home heating and water heating equipment.”
The trouble is, I was thinking of doing the opposite. I am considering installing heat pumps for both house and water heating.
Currently, I cook and heat my house and water with natural gas, but PSE’s statement that “natural gas is a clean, reliable and efficient energy source” is wrong.
Natural gas, which is mainly methane, may be cleaner than coal – but what isn’t? Burning methane produces half the carbon dioxide of burning coal, but it certainly isn’t clean.
Natural gas also comes to us courtesy of fracking and widely variable estimates of the percentage of methane “lost” between its extraction and my oven.
Washington, along with New York and California, have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. According to the Northwest Energy Coalition, this is doable and affordable.
We are going to have a lot more difficulty reaching that goal if PSE continues to encourage us to use more fossil fuels.