Building Local Resilience
There is much that can be done by residents and businesses to improve our climate footprint, save money and increase our safety, resilience and comfort.
In our house we have insulated, upgraded windows, installed LED lighting and efficient appliances, and installed solar PV on our rooftop. Our utility bills are very low; electricity is basically net zero even though our solar array is constrained by available roof area – and this is with both of our cars now being electric (2011 Volt and now a Bolt). The Town’s existing policies helped our family to do all this, by waiving the permit fee for solar and for EV chargers.
I have supported the subsequent adoption of a PACE program and further policy changes to streamline solar and to promote future building being done in ways that ready for the transition to the 100% renewable future. The Climate Action Committee has worked closely with Resilient Neighborhoods and Rising Sun, to promote individual household-level actions such as ours.
Fairfax also has a “GHG Meter” – currently in the form of a powerpoint running in Town Hall and on the Climate Action Committee website . The Meter was an idea I contributed to the Commission's General Plan- Conservation Element, and then expanded into the Climate Action Plan. It envisions a permanent, regularly updated display in the center of town that would raise to the level of daily awareness the amount of electricity, natural gas, water, waste and other impacts of the town as a whole (not just government operations but residential as well). The hope would be to leverage our local environmental ethic into widespread household and business action to lower our collective footprint.