MCE Changemaker: Wei-Tai Kwok

MCE Changemaker: Wei-Tai Kwok

The Changemaker blog series celebrates MCE’s 10-year anniversary by recognizing the extraordinary people who support us and further our mission.

Wei-Tai Kwok is a renewable energy executive in the solar and energy storage business. When he’s not at work, he spends his free time volunteering for local nonprofit organizations that focus on building a more sustainable world. Last summer he retrofitted his home, eliminating fossil fuel appliances, and now has a zero emission home powered by 100% renewable energy. Wei-Tai’s volunteer roles have included participating as a board member with Sustainable Lafayette and as a climate leader with the Climate Reality Project Bay Area Chapter.

What work are you able to do as a part of Sustainable Lafayette?

Sustainable Lafayette is a grassroots nonprofit that’s focused on creating a healthy sustainable future for our city. One of our signature events is the Earth Day event every year at the library. We also have activities to educate our community on solar power and electric vehicles, have advocated for a plastic bag ban, and are focusing on air quality.

Sustainable Lafayette has worked very closely with the City of Lafayette over the last few years to promote a more renewable energy portfolio for our city. One thing we wanted to do was to raise awareness and educate our community that it’s actually very easy and affordable to opt up to 100% renewable energy service. We’re always engaging the public on how easy it is to power your home with 100% California wind and solar energy. In less than one minute you can sign up for electricity services like Deep Green.

What work is being done at the Bay Area Chapter of The Climate Reality Project?

The Climate Reality Bay Area Chapter has 800+ members who are climate activists looking to see what we can do locally to move the needle on greenhouse gas reductions today. We advocate across 10 counties to educate the public on the facts and science around the climate crisis impacts we’re experiencing, as well as what we can do to make a difference. Our three current campaign themes focus on 100% renewable Clean Energy which can in turn power Clean Vehicles (EVs) and Clean Buildings (all-electric gas-free appliances).

How can citizens advocate for climate action?

I’ve seen a lot of citizens who are interested in taking urgent action on the climate crisis, but don’t know where to start. We are focused on pressing cities and counties to take climate action. One of the best things that a city or county can do is to introduce energy choices to their consumers. If their cities have not yet offered community choice energy, then that’s one thing that they can advocate for at their city council. I think citizen activism is a very important way that people can take action on climate change.

Why is climate change activism important to you?

I think it’s a moral issue of our time to recognize that human activity is causing the planet’s rising temperature. The consequences are dire for future generations. When I first heard about the climate crisis, my children were only six and nine years old. I realized it would have to be the adults of today that must take urgent action, so I suddenly felt a big moral burden to address the issue. I want to be a part of the solution in every way that I can, whether it be through my career in the solar and energy storage industry, or my volunteer work. I want to use all of my time and do everything in my power to make a difference.

What steps can ordinary citizens take to be part of the solution to climate change?

Raising our voices and speaking up that we want change is my top suggestion. If we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen. And if we let our friends know we care, many will join in as well. Secondly, we can make changes in our home where we do have control of our buying decisions. Over the last 10 years, I’ve gradually been finding ways to live a fossil-free lifestyle. We’ve replaced our cars with EV’s over time, and we even retrofitted our house last year to remove our gas stove, furnace, fireplace and water heater and go all-electric.×407.jpg

Our home is now powered by our 14 solar panels and what we buy from the grid; we’ve opted-up to MCE’s Deep Green 100% renewable energy plan. I can confidently say my home is fully powered by renewable energy! It feels great, and the technologies and services are here today.

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