Programs Spotlight: A Focus on Electrification and Decarbonization

Programs Spotlight: A Focus on Electrification and Decarbonization

MCE’s Programs Spotlight series highlights the power of people over profit. By putting more renewable energy on our shared grid, we reduce polluting fossil fuels. MCE’s efforts on climate justice and revolutionizing the energy industry help vulnerable populations gain access to electric vehicles (EVs), energy storage, energy savings, and green workforce opportunities. We all deserve a fossil-free future that combats climate change and gives us cleaner air to breathe.

Solving the climate crisis is no easy feat, to say the least. But electrification is a great way for each of us to make a big difference. Electrification is the process of replacing equipment that uses gas with equipment that uses electricity. As the power mix on our shared electrical grid becomes cleaner, electrification can help us decarbonize, or reduce the use of fossil fuels in our homes and businesses, and save on energy costs at the same time. By replacing natural gas appliances (for example, water heaters and cooktops) and gasoline powered cars and generators with electric alternatives, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Here is a sampling of MCE’s programs that can help electrify and decarbonize your properties and transportation while supporting the electrification workforce.

Home Upgrades

MCE offers programs to help upgrade homes with high-efficiency, electrified appliances, which save on their utility bills and decarbonize their homes.

Multifamily Upgrades

The Multifamily Energy Savings Program offers rebates for energy efficiency, electrification, and health, safety, and comfort upgrades for multifamily properties in MCE’s service area. MCE also offers additional rebates to income-qualified multifamily property owners or renters through the Low-Income Families and Tenants (LIFT) Program. Examples of qualifying household upgrades include switching natural gas and propane heating equipment to high-efficiency electric heat pumps, low-flow water fixtures, and increased insulation.

Heat Pump Water Heater Contractor Rebates

We’re guessing that you don’t spend much time thinking about your hot water heater, as long as it’s working. But when the water runs cold and it’s time for a replacement, or if you want to proactively electrify your home, switching to a heat pump water heater can save you money and help the planet.

Heat pump water heaters use less energy than conventional water heaters and can help lower utility costs and decarbonize homes. MCE and BayREN are offering a $1,000 incentive to licensed contractors who replace natural gas or propane residential water heaters with high-efficiency heat pump water heaters.

Advanced Energy Rebuild Napa Program

MCE helped single-family homeowners who lost their homes in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires in Napa County to rebuild sustainably, keeping energy efficiency and decarbonization at the forefront. Measures included high-performance walls or attics, efficient windows, insulation inspection, high-efficiency water heaters, Energy Star appliances, smart thermostats, EV charging stations, induction cooking appliances, heat pump hot water heaters, electric heat pump HVAC systems, and solar panel systems with battery storage. This program is closed to new customers.

Batteries

With the increasing number of Public Safety Power Shutoff outages, more people are turning to gas or diesel generators to keep their lights on and important equipment running. Batteries are a much more climate-friendly way to avoid outages, which is why MCE created a $6 million resiliency fund to help our customers get batteries through the following programs.

Energy Storage Program

MCE’s Energy Storage Program provides rebates and extremely low- and zero- interest loans to reduce the financial barriers that could otherwise prevent widespread access to cutting-edge energy storage technology. Priority is given to facilities and residences that support low-income and medically vulnerable customers, or provide essential services during public safety power shutoff events and natural disasters such as schools, community centers, emergency shelters, fire stations, and health centers.

These batteries provide backup power during an outage and can be used to reduce energy consumption and save money on bills during a typical day. Customers can charge their battery with solar power during the day and use them to power appliances in the evening, taking advantage of excess solar energy and reducing the need to rely on gas plants during the evening peak from 4-9 p.m.

YETI Battery Giveaway

In partnership with the regional Centers for Independent Living, MCE offered free portable batteries to 100 medically vulnerable residents. The giveaway targeted customers who have accessibility and functional needs that require electricity for life-supporting medical equipment, such as refrigeration to safely store medications, ventilators for respiratory support, and mobility aids like electric scooters or wheelchairs. The portable batteries allow 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 can easily move these portable batteries if evacuation becomes necessary.

Transportation Electrification

Transportation is responsible for 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions so we’re helping income-qualified customers get electrical vehicles (EVs) and funding charging station installations throughout our service area. MCE has already installed and over 1,250 EV charging ports in our service area.

Electrification Workforce Development

Meeting our decarbonization goals will require a significant increase in the number of contractors trained to install electric equipment. MCE’s workforce programs ensure that energy professionals are trained in the latest electrification technologies and helps job seekers get on-the-job experience and training.

Electrification Workshop Series

MCE’s Electrification Workshop Series provides education and training on technical topics for contractors and other professionals. Workshops cover technical topics about new and retrofit electrification projects, heat pump installations, multifamily electrification, and more.

Workforce Training and Education (WE&T) Program

MCE’s Workforce Education and Training (WE&T) Program supports the electrification and energy efficiency workforce by providing access to workforce development opportunities. The WE&T program matches job seekers to contractors within MCE’s service area and funds opportunities for paid on-the-job experience. The program also provides benefits to local energy efficiency contractors through green-collar workforce development and no-charge matching with prequalified, trained job seekers.

 

 

 

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