8 ways we are tackling climate change in the desert

Climate change is happening. It brings serious risks for our state and economy and those who live here. 

How climate change affects Arizona

You might ask, “What is climate change?” Simply put, climate change occurs when an average weather pattern changes over a long period of time.

Throughout history, the world’s climate has changed naturally. However, scientists say temperatures are rising faster now than ever before. Carbon emissions, gases released into the air from burning fossil fuels, trap and hold heat from the sun rather than letting it escape into space.

If you live in Arizona, you don’t need us to tell you that it’s one of the hottest and driest states. As the climate changes, our home state faces tough issues, including:

  • Hotter temperatures
  • More drought
  • Increased wildfires

Here’s how we’re taking action against climate change

It’s important that we continue to provide reliable and affordable power and water to those we serve. That’s why we’re taking bold steps to help keep our state safe from the risks of climate change.

With climate change in mind, we set our 2035 sustainability goals. These goals will help us: 

  • Reduce our carbon emissions 
  • Protect our water supply
  • Continue improving the grid, which is the way we bring power to your home

1. Reduce our carbon footprint

In addition to powering the Valley with more clean energy sources like solar, we are reducing our carbon footprint as a company.

We are making greener choices when it comes to powering our buildings. Plus, we’ve completely changed how our employees throw items away. For instance, we’ve added recycling and composting to 80% of our buildings. And we’re not done yet. 

To improve air quality and lower the Valley’s heat island effect we: 

2. Ensure water for today and tomorrow

Did you know that SRP has brought water to the Valley for over a century? Part of that legacy is ensuring a reliable water supply for Greater Phoenix for years to come. That starts with keeping the origin of our water supply in forested land, or watershed areas, healthy.

While continuing to supply water to the Valley, we will find new ways to conserve our precious water. Plus, we continue to work with state and local partners to explore new ways to keep the water supply we need for the long term.

3. Update the energy grid

We will continue to keep you in power while making our grid safer and stronger. This will allow our customers to make use of new technologies and programs that reward eco-friendly choices and help more electric vehicles get on the road. 

4. Promote a sustainable supply chain and reduce waste

When it comes to our supply chain, we will make smarter, eco-minded choices. And to help keep waste out of landfills, we will mix that way-of-life into how we do business. We encourage our business partners to do the same.

Moving forward with research and development to fight climate change

At SRP, we take part in research that moves us toward a greener future. Here are some ways we’re doing that. 

5. Renewable energy and energy storage testing

We’re testing how to use large-scale batteries to store energy produced by solar panels during the day for use when the sun goes down.

We also look at how customers use power, how to best support ever-changing needs and new ways to plug solar solutions into our grid.

6. Power plant research

We’ve partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to find ways we can use less natural gas, which will reduce emissions. 

7. Use technology to help customers save energy

We know that cooling a home in the desert can take a lot of energy. That’s why we’re researching how to improve home cooling and reduce energy use.

For example, a high-efficiency variable-speed heat pump provides an efficient alternative to air conditioners. As a result, we’re trying out programs that reduce the stress on the grid and power system during peak, or high-energy-use, hours.

For our industrial and business customers, we’re working with EPRI to find ways to replace fossil fuel equipment, such as converting gas-powered forklifts to electric models. 

8. Improve the performance of electric vehicles (EVs)

More electric vehicles on the road mean fewer gas emissions and a healthier planet. That’s why we’re testing ways to improve EV battery life in the desert and rewarding customers who make the switch to electric. 

Let’s create a better future together

Ready to help reduce the risks of climate change at home and in your community? There are so many ways you can help! See how to save energy at homeuse less water and increase your energy efficiency at work to get started.

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