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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 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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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 York State Prize - Community Microgrid Competition (NY Prize)

2015

The “NY Prize” competition is administered by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), to support New York State communities innovation in electricity grid planning and development. Microgrids are stand-alone energy systems that can separate from the larger electrical grid to operate independently in the event of a power outage. During extreme weather events or emergencies, microgrids can provide power to individual customers and critical public services such as hospitals, first responders, and water treatment facilities.

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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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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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DOE Weatherization Assistance Program

December 22, 1975

The Department of Energy (DOE)’s Weatherization Assistance Program (CFDA Program Number 81.042) provides formula and project grants to states to fund cost-effective measures that improve the energy efficiency of homes, particularly the homes of elderly and low-income individuals. These governments in turn contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services to those in need using the latest technologies for home energy upgrades.

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New Mexico SB 489 - Energy Transition Act

March 22, 2019

New Mexico’s 2019 Senate Bill 489 enacts the Energy Transition Act, establishing ambitious statewide renewable energy standards and a pathway the state will use to transition its economy towards one powered by clean energy. The bill includes tens of millions of dollars of economic and workforce support for communities affected by the transition away from coal. By incorporating equity considerations into its framework, this bill not only ensures greater renewable energy production, but also eases the burden of energy transition on frontline and disadvantaged communities.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland

December 2015

Funded by the Town Creek Foundation of Maryland, Skeo Solutions evaluated Maryland’s 2013 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan - to determine the effects of the plan on state programs and disadvantaged communities. Aimed at enhancing social equity outcomes in Maryland’s climate planning, the programs were analyzed as to whether they benefit or reduce impacts on vulnerable communities - in order to identify programatic improvements, and the need for new initiatives. In addition, a number of long-term recommendations are offered to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate adaptation planning.

Author or Affiliated User: Marcus Griswold

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Connecticut Microgrid and Resilience Grant and Loan Pilot Program

September 2020

In September 2020, the Connecticut legislature passed the Microgrid and Resilience Grant and Loan Pilot Program (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-243y). The act expands the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s authority to fund resilience projects, in addition to microgrids. The act supports the creation of climate change resilience projects in Connecticut.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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