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New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank Grant and Loan Financing Program Guide

October 14, 2014

Created using $200 million of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the New Jersey Energy Resilience Bank (ERB) provides funding for new or retrofitted distributed energy resources (DER) technologies that allow facilities to continue to operate at critical load in the event of losing power because of extreme weather. This holistic approach to enhancing energy infrastructure resiliency in New Jersey was established following Superstorm Sandy.

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Connecticut Green Bank Solar For All Program

2015

In 2015, Connecticut recognized that its standard solar incentive program for homeowners, the Residential Solar Incentive Program (RSIP), had successfully promoted residential solar development, but was serving very few low-income homeowners. To increase low and middle income (LMI) homeowner access to credit for solar, the Connecticut Green Bank (which was established by the Connecticut General Assembly), developed a model for providing these homeowners with cost-effective residential solar power and energy efficiency, and applied it to a partnership with solar provider PosiGen Solar (PosiGen). The Green Bank's Solar For All program provides financial support to PosiGen, which uses this financing to build solar panels on LMI homes. PosiGen retains ownership of the panels, benefits from the solar rebates provided under the RSIP, and leases the solar panels to homeowners. Homeowners benefit financially by avoiding large upfront payments for their solar systems, and by reducing electricity costs. Additionally, all PosiGen customers receive efficiency upgrades. The average PosiGen customer in Connecticut receives a net annual financial benefit of $450. For the first six years of solar panel operation, PosiGen owns and benefits from the Renewable Energy Credits – the excess power created by the panels. Ownership of these credits is then transferred to the Bank, which makes back some of the money it spends on the RSIP. 

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New Jersey Clean Energy Program Efficiency Retrofitting

2010

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) is a financial incentive system created by the state legislature to encourage energy efficiency retrofitting and promote the use of renewable energy. CMC Energy is a private firm specializing in improving energy efficiency, and became a contracting partner of NJCEP’s Direct Install program. Through this program, CMC works directly with a participating business or public entity to assess areas for improved energy efficiency, and implement modern technical solutions to reduce energy costs. NJCEP pays for 70% of the total retrofitting costs directly to the entity, reducing the total project time to an average of 90 days from the initial appointment. High Bridge Elementary School, in High Bridge, NJ, participated in the Direct Install program and is realizing an annual energy savings of approximately $22,000. The total cost of the installation was $135,109, of which $94,576 was provided directly to the school. The school thus contributed only $40,532, estimated to be paid off in 1.8 years given the school’s energy savings. Future energy savings will be used for further improvements, such as a new roof. In 2019, to promote equity, NJCEP increased its funding to 80% of the retrofitting costs for facilities: within an Urban Enterprise Zone, within an Opportunity Zone, owned by local governments, containing K-12 public schools, or designated as affordable housing. Under the newer scheme, the High Bridge Elementary pay period would be shortened to 1.23 years, freeing up reduced energy savings faster.

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Duke Energy Progress Partners with RETI for Community Solar

Duke Energy Progress (DEP) worked with the nonprofit, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI), to increase access to renewable energy programs for lower-income residents. This program provides an example of how utilities can use equity considerations to inform the deployment of renewable energy programs and resources. RETI works to eliminate high energy costs and make renewable energy solutions more accessible through educational programs, community outreach, research, advocacy, and partnerships. RETI promotes income-based applications and brings awareness to this energy saving program through engaging with communities at local community events and churches. DEP and RETI also launched The Shared Solar program for its residential and non-residential customers to be able to share in the economic benefits from a single solar facility. The cost savings from this community solar program are allocated to low-income customers in the company’s territory.

 

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California Public Utilities Commission Clean Energy Research Projects for Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities

January 2018

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) allocates its Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) to fund projects located in and benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities, which is an example of utility commissions participating in equitable grid investment. EPIC funds come from rates charged to electricity customers of the state utilities and supports investments in clean energy technologies that benefit ratepayers of investor owned utilities. AB 523 directs the California Energy Commission (CEC) to expend at least 25 percent of its EPIC funds for Technology Demonstration and Deployment funding (TD&D) at sites located in, and benefiting, “disadvantaged communities,” and adds an additional requirement that the CEC expend at least 10 percent of its EPIC funds for TD&D at sites located in, and benefiting, low-income communities located in the state. The CPUC approved the allocation of $60 million of its EPIC funding to projects located in and benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities that are also specifically prioritized for the investment of proceeds from CA’s cap-and-trade program. These investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life, and economic opportunity in disadvantaged communities, which are defined by AB 523 as those most burdened by pollution from multiple sources and most vulnerable to its effects, considering socioeconomic characteristics and underlying health status.

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California AB 693: Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program & the Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar Roofs Program (MASH)

2015

California’s SOMAH and MASH programs provide an example of how financial incentives can be used to support installation of solar energy photovoltaic (PV) systems on multifamily affordable housing properties. Assembly Bill 693 provides financial incentives for the installation of PV systems, prescribes criteria for participation in the incentive program, sets targets for installation of solar PV systems, identifies various required elements for the Program, and gives direction to the California Public Utilities Commission on the administration of the Program. The SOMAH program's goal is to encourage the installation of 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power to benefit affordable housing units by 2030. This program is funded through GHG allowance auction proceeds and is administered by nonprofits and electric utilities. Eligible building owners and tenants can receive solar credits through a virtual net energy metering system. The program provides direct economic benefits by allowing low-income renters to receive energy produced on the roof of their housing unit, which lowers monthly utility costs and helps “disadvantaged communities” reap the benefits of the growing California solar industry. 

 

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Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs: Energy Assistance

Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs: Energy Assistance: The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make energy costs more affordable and ensure the stability of home energy services through several programs. The OHEP houses four grants to contribute energy assistance: the Maryland Energy Assistance Program; the Electrical Universal Service Program; the Utility Service Protection Program; and Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Services.

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Chicago’s Building Energy Programs

September 2013

The City of Chicago adapted energy efficiency policies for both commercial and residential buildings to support both its mitigation and adaptation goals. Waste heat from energy consumption has been estimated to account for about one-third of the urban heat island effect, in some US cities, and energy efficiency policies can be an effective strategy and mitigating these effects. [ref title=""]Dr. Brian Stone, Louisville Urban Heat Management Study, Urban Climate Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology (April 2016).

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Chicago's Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

September 2013

The City of Chicago adopted energy efficiency policies for both commercial and residential buildings to help reduce waste energy from residential and commercial buildings, which accounts for about one-third of the urban heat island effect, in some US cities. [ref title=""]Dr. Brian Stone, Louisville Urban Heat Management Study, Urban Climate Lab of the Georgia Institute of Technology (April 2016). [/ref] This ordinance in combination with the city's energy conservation code and utility cost disclosure ordinance seek to enhance energy efficiency in the city's building stock and reduce waste heat from buildings.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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City of Chicago Utility Cost Disclosure Ordinance

March 13, 2013

The City of Chicago adopted energy efficiency policies for both commercial and residential buildings to help reduce waste energy from residential and commercial buildings, which accounts for about one-third of the urban heat island effect, in some US cities. This ordinance in combination with the city's energy conservation code and energy benchmarking ordinance seek to enhance energy efficiency in the city's building stock and reduce waste heat from buildings.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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