About This Event
Greenhouse Gas Emission Forecasts for Electrification of Space Heating in Residential Homes
Speaker: Theresa Pistochini, Co-Director of Engineering at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Institute and Western Cooling Efficiency Center
The Spokane Sustainability Action Subcommittee has recently released a draft plan that recommends phasing out natural gas hookups for all new commercial and multifamily residential buildings by 2023, and from all new construction by 2028. This proposal created significant discussion within the community about whether we can continue to use fossil fuels such as natural gas (methane) and address the climate crisis, with members of the climate action group 350 Spokane arguing in favor of the provision and Avista Utilities arguing against. In its guest opinion in the Spokesman-Review, Avista Utilities cited a study by UC Davis, claiming that it “confirms that in Washington, electrification of natural gas heating can actually increase carbon emissions.” Others have argued that the UC Davis study proves the opposite, that switching from natural gas furnaces to electric heat pumps will drastically reduce climate pollution.
To help contribute to the public discussion of this important issue, the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment has invited Co-Director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Institute and Western Cooling Efficiency Center, Theresa Pistochini, to discuss the UC Davis study and what it does and does not say about the likely impacts of transitioning from natural gas to electricity for our home heating in Spokane.
About Theresa Pistochini
Theresa Pistochini is Co-Director of Engineering at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Institute and Western Cooling Efficiency Center with 12 years of experience in applied research in energy efficiency and building operation, primarily in the areas of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. She led the development and construction of an HVAC testing laboratory in 2013 and has served as co-PI or project manager on several large projects, including the California Energy Commission funded project to develop a Product Evaluation Hub. Theresa provides technical management for the engineering staff, reviewing project progress including experimental plans, analyses, results, and publications. She earned her M.S. degree from UC Davis and is a registered professional engineer in California.