In November 2020 the San Diego Building Electrification Coalition (SDBEC) was launched with a handful of dedicated core members and volunteers. What the coalition and its volunteers have accomplished in one year has been remarkable. Its goals were to advocate for building electrification in the San Diego region through public education, outreach with elected officials, and providing technical assistance all while trying to grow the coalition. It is amazing how these goals have been reached and exceeded in this past year thanks to all the hard work of our coalition members.
Members of the coalition understood that one of the most powerful ways to electrify San Diego’s buildings was to advocate with elected officials to pass Building Electrification (BE) reach codes. In the past year our members have made great strides in this effort:
- The cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach each have passed BE reach codes for new construction. Although a good deal of foundational work was done before the formation of SDBEC, the persistent outreach by our membership made these reach codes significantly more impactful. Press releases and a press conference organized by the SDBEC went a long way to publicize these successes and resulted in articles published in the Union Tribune (Encinitas, Solana Beach), Coast News (Encinitas, Solana Beach), Channel 10, and KPBS
- Outreach and education is currently ongoing with many municipalities including Carlsbad, San Marcos, Santee, National City, City of San Diego, County of San Diego, La Mesa, Coronado, Del Mar to hopefully pass reach codes in the next year or two.
- The coalition has also written 13 letters of support with membership sign ons to advocate for BE in the region.
The SDBEC’s messaging team has been hard at work reaching out to members and the general public to spread the word about BE and SDBEC’s message. This takes many forms as you can see below.
- The SDBEC website was launched in the spring of 2021. It is full of resources for folks who are looking to electrify their buildings and find information about all things BE.
- The public can follow the SDBEC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
- To date the SDBEC has delivered a total 15 webinars and presentations to the general public.
- The SDBEC has also had an informational table at 3 sustainability events.
Many of our members are experts in their field and offer technical assistance to those implementing BE projects. This is done in several ways:
- Folks can fill out a technical assistance questionnaire about their project and receive feedback and recommendations from our expert Tech and Training volunteers.
- The SDBEC Tech and Training working group is also working with Efficiency First California to populate their Clean Energy Connection contractor portal with local contractors that install Heat Pumps, Heat Pump Water Heaters, and other clean energy technologies.
Growth of the Coalition
The Coalition started with a handful of local environmental organizations and now has grown to 30 organizations and counting. This included lots of work and collaboration in creating structures and governance to keep the organization firing on all cylinders.
Next Steps for 2022
The SDBEC has a great deal to build on going into 2022. The organization will continue to advocate for Building Electrification reach codes and BE Climate Action Plan updates throughout the San Diego region. The coalition will again provide educational outreach through webinars, presentations and tabling events. Hopefully many homeowners have been inspired to electrify their homes in 2022 and when they do, the SDBEC will be there with resources and technical assistance. Finally the SDBEC will continue to look for ways to strengthen our coalition’s impact. Have a great holiday season and see you all in 2022!
About the Author
Robert Carr is a consultant who specializes in making our region’s built environment more sustainable. He is a LEED AP, LFA, and GPRO instructor and has used this experience to participate in many LEED projects with local organizations including the San Diego Green Building Council. In 2015 he received a Masters in Sustainability Leadership from ASU. Robert also volunteers for SD 350 and the San Diego Building Electrification Coalition to advocate for just, equitable and sustainable communities for all. Previously, Robert was a science teacher in San Diego Unified School District and a flight instructor.