Clean Energy Infrastructure: Buildings + Transportation

What is Clean Energy Infrastructure?

First let's break down the terms Clean Energy, Green Energy, and Renewable Energy. These terms are often used interchangeably but there are subtle difference.

Clean Energy - is energy derived from sources that do not pollute the air. We talk about clean energy a lot when we are looking at air quality both indoors in homes and in our environment at large.

Green Energy - comes from natural sources - such as wind and solar power.

Renewable Energy  - is generated from sources that steadily "renew" or replenish, and unlike fossil fuels and gas, are not finite.

Most green energy sources are renewable, not all renewable energy sources are understood as "green." Hydropower, for example, causes deforestation and industrialization which are damaging to the ecosystems where a dam in built.

Clean Energy Infrastructure - is buildings and transportation systems and services that rely on clean energy sources for power rather than fossil fuels. In 2022, the bi-partisan Inflation Reduction Act was passed. This is a historical Clean Energy Infrastructure bill, to help aid the transition to Clean Energy Infrastructure nationally.

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What is Building Decarbonization? And Building Electrification? 

Buildings are a big part of creating Clean Energy Infrastructure, both building new, zero emissions buildings, and retrofitting existing buildings.

Our coalition partners at Shift Zero define Building Decarbonization as follows:

Building decarbonization—the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions caused by buildings.

Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions related to buildings fall into two categories:

(1) “operational carbon” emissions associated with heating, cooling, and operating buildings

(2) upfront “embodied carbon” emissions associated with the manufacture and transport of building materials and the construction of buildings themselves. Our definition of zero carbon building encapsulates both.

How can I work on Building Electrification and Decarbonization locally? 

Check out Shift Zero's toolkit for driving the development of net zero buildings in your community.

Another fabulous local resource leading the way into the clean energy future is Olympia Community Solar. Check out the projects they are currently working on and their work to support the clean energy transition in low income communities.

Click here to learn more about how you can transition your home!

Transportation, Land Use, and Electric Vehicles

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Transportation + Electric Vehicles

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes tax incentives for consumer to purchase an Electric Vehicle (EV). These incentives apply to both new and used vehicles. To learn more about these incentive read our blog post. 

What about Home Charging an EV?

It may not be necessary to install a charger on your home. Many people charge with a regular 110 volt outlet using the cord that comes with the car. Some people can charge at work. If you’d prefer to charge faster at home using a 220 volt outlet (such as the one used by electric clothes dryers), the cost will depend on a number of factors. If you have an existing 220v outlet, a basic charging cable and plug that hangs on the wall in your garage can cost less than $300.

Whether you’re using an existing outlet or installing a new one, check to make sure your electrical panel can provide enough current (amps) to charge efficiently. Having an electrician install a new 220v circuit in a relatively new house might cost $500-$600.