“Electrification” means changing over to electrical appliances like an electric stove instead of a gas stove, etc. But when you look at popular articles such as 20 Ways to Break Free From Fossil Fuels, one of the first recommendations is to reduce our consumption of electricity. Why? Of course, it is always better to use less. But look at the amount of fossil fuels used in 2020 by Consumers Power for electricity in Michigan. (See chart below). Consumer’s electricity in 2020 came from 31% natural gas, 19% coal, 8% nuclear, 8% karn oil/gas, 11% energy storage, 12% customer efficiency programs, and 11% renewable energy. By 2025 the amount of natural gas will grow to 40%, and then reduce with a plan to increase renewable sources. But that takes time.
So, what can we do this week that is affordable and anyone can do it? A simple solution is to use a caulk gun. This tip comes right from good old Bob Vila from This Old House, who wrote an excellent article, 9 Ways Your Home Energy Use Combats Climate Change. When my family first decided to look at solar panels, the first advice was to retrofit our home by insulating, and using a caulk gun to get rid of cracks and holes. Here is a simple action you can take this week.
- Weatherstripping and caulking your home. Keep the heat in – or keep the heat out – depending on the season. This will cut down your use of energy no matter what source you use. Be sure to check your windows and doors for tight seals (if you see light shining through the gaps between the window or door and the trim, that’s not good), and caulk and seal them as necessary. I think you may be surprised at what you discover.
- Read resources above to understand the backstory. You may find more ideas!