Energizing Ojai

Typically summertime is the time when energy consumption starts to soar higher and higher. Factors such as increased air-conditioning loads, pool pumps having to run longer, and children who are on vacation from school mean using more power at home. In addition to this, all the extra water needed to keep plants alive in the hot Ojai summer uses a tremendous amount of power to treat and pump.

What isn’t as visible as your bills increasing is the tremendous environmental impact using this power has in places that are not located in our backyard. Our power primarily comes from the burning of natural gas and coal to create steam, which turns a turbine that generates electricity. We also get a large percentage of our power here in Ojai from nuclear generators. A Google search of “mountain top removal” to secure coal reserves or “hydraulic fracking” to cheaply extract natural gas will reveal the true environmental and social costs of the excessive consumption and inefficient built environment that we inhabit. The recent news of radiation levels from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster increasing in California marine life is a clear indicator that there has got to be a better way to power our world than using sources of energy that wreak havoc on the natural world.
Forty percent of our power consumption is used in buildings and another 30% is for storing, treating, pumping and heating water. That’s why the Coalition’s Ojai Energy Efficiency Initiative aims to provide all members of the Ojai Valley community, including renters, homeowners, businesses, government, and agricultural facilities, with the resources and support needed to easily “Energize Ojai” to become more energy efficient and reduce our dependence on non-renewable power sources. By reducing our energy demand through conservation, and supporting the installation of solar energy systems and other renewable energy sources, it is possible for Ojai to achieve the goal of becoming a “Net Zero” community. “Net Zero” means that we would consume no more energy than we could produce.
This is no small challenge for the community to undertake, but a tremendous goal that we must achieve in order to secure an energy-independent future that does not destroy our planet for the future generations of Ojai and the world. And it is do-able. Please join the Ojai Energy Efficiency Initiative’s efforts by helping to energize our community to become Net Zero this summer by immediately taking simple and affordable actions. We also need your help spreading the information about the support that we can provide to you throughout all your relations and networks.
Taking immediate action is the most important thing everybody can do right now and to support and guide you in these efforts we have created a website, http://www.ojaienergy.org.* The site lists the actions that can be taken as well as information on the various energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives that are currently available. The Ojai Energy Efficiency Initiative is here to assist you with energy efficiency and solar energy projects by providing you with information and support to guide you toward the most immediate and affordable path to saving energy, saving money and saving the planet. We look forward to energizing Ojai with you!
Shawn Jacobson
Chair, OVGC Built Environment Council
Coordinator, Ojai Energy Efficiency Initiative
*In addition to all of the utility, state and federal incentives that exist we also plan to reward everybody that takes a tangible and recordable energize action in Ojai with a discount coupon book to local businesses. With every action taken, you will also be entered into a drawing to be held early 2013, where we will be giving away various energy related prizes. If you want to be a supporting business by offering a discount or give-way item to anybody willing to step up to this challenge, then we invite you to contact us and support our initiative in this fashion at saveenergy@ojaivalleygreencoalition.com.

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