MCE Provides Off-Grid Portable Batteries to 100 Medically Vulnerable Residents

MCE Provides Off-Grid Portable Batteries to 100 Medically Vulnerable Residents

Photo: MCE staff and community partners unload batteries for distribution.

California’s upcoming fire season represents a risk of power outages for customers throughout the state. MCE is working with customers in our service area to help alleviate the strain of these outages by offering energy resiliency solutions to ensure a reliable supply of energy. Being energy resilient allows customers to keep necessary electricity flowing even when the power grid is out.

In addition to MCE’s Energy Storage Program, we recently invested in off-grid battery storage solutions, an exciting step toward supporting the energy independence and security of some of our most vulnerable customers. Through partnerships with our local Centers for Independent Living (CILs), MCE has offered Goal Zero Yeti 3000 portable batteries to 100 customers who depend on electricity for their medical and transportation devices, so that they can maintain power during outages and stay safely at home.

Customers who received the batteries have accessibility and functional needs that require electric life-support durable medical equipment, such as refrigeration to properly store medications, ventilators for respiratory support, and mobility aids like electric scooters or wheelchairs. If a power outage occurs, these customers are typically asked to evacuate their homes and relocate to a community resiliency center for shorter outages, or to a hotel if the outage is expected to last multiple days. The cost of lodging and the difficulty of traveling is burdensome. Moreover, the increased risk of COVID-19, especially for those with medical needs, creates additional concerns.

Affected customers may seek solutions to keep their electricity on, including the traditional backup power options of gas- or diesel-powered generators. However, fossil-fuel generators increase air pollution, can be extremely noisy, require customers to store liquid fuel in their homes, and may be difficult to access and transport during an outage.

The portable batteries help address some of these issues by allowing customers to keep their medical devices powered with a clean, quiet, pollution-free technology, so that they can remain at home during shorter outages. Customers interested in applying to receive a battery and receiving disaster preparedness resources, such as hotel vouchers for longer outages, can apply through the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers.

The batteries purchased by MCE will be distributed to customers through partnerships with our local CILs, including the Marin Center for Independent Living, the Disability Services and Legal Center in Napa, and the Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa Counties. These regional partners will work with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers to deliver the batteries to those in highest need. All 100 batteries will be distributed to customers before the fall.

MCE gives special thanks to local contractor Keith O’Hara, our partner at Eco Performance Builders, for being such an incredible help on unboxing day. Thanks also go to the Marin Center for Independent Living and the Disability Service and Legal Center for picking up their battery allocations in San Rafael.

Opt Up to MCE Deep Green

Opt In to MCE Light Green

Energy supply project development

Fill out the interest form below to get started!

Complete the form below to express interest in our EV Instant Rebate or for any questions related to EVs or EV incentives. You’ll hear back from our partners at Energy Solutions within 2 business days.

Marketing, community outreach, creative, and event production

Energy efficiency, EV, and load shifting program implementation and evaluation

Non-energy related services and construction

Connect with a dedicated energy coach

Technology, finance, and human resources