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October 3, 2023

Energy agency announces no-cost solar for affordable housing residents

Courtesy of Monterey Bay Community Power:

In partnership with GRID Alternatives, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) today announced the launch of Project Sunshine, a solar incentive program dedicated to assisting affordable housing residents by providing no-cost solar for families with limited or fixed incomes. By utilizing solar energy, Project Sunshine participants can also look forward to saving up to 90% on future electricity bills.

“When the vision for MBCP was created, there was a very clear need and desire to direct benefits to our underserved communities and residents,” shares MBCP CEO Tom Habashi. “Thanks to this collaboration with GRID Alternatives, Project Sunshine exemplifies that commitment as well as MBCP’s overarching mission to provide cleaner energy at a lower cost while contributing to the economic vitality of the Monterey Bay region.”

Project Sunshine funding is limited so interested MBCP customer families and residents are encouraged to go through the prequalifying and application processes as soon as possible. Applicants can learn if they qualify by visiting www.gridsolar.org/ or by calling 866-921-4696. After completing the prequalification process, applicants are required to meet with a GRID Alternatives Customer Representative and complete the final application together.

“GRID Alternatives is thrilled to have this partnership with MBCP that allows us to expand our impact in the tri-county area,” explains Justin Hitchcock, executive director of GRID Alternatives Central Coast. “Every solar installation we complete comes out of a great collaborative effort of community partners. The impact of this effort is also shared by the community, from the families realizing electricity cost savings, to the job-trainees gaining new employable solar skills, to everyone benefiting collectively from a reduced carbon footprint and reduced air pollution.”

Based on revenues from year one of operation, MBCP has set aside $1.25 million in funding for 2019 Energy Programs, first of which will be Project Sunshine. The goal of Project sunshine is to support solar installations for up to 20 families and potentially equate to $500,000 in bill savings over the life of the solar projects. MBCP will be rolling out additional Energy Programs later this year including an EV incentive program worth $725,000 for MBCP customers, as well as an EV Infrastructure Program which includes $6 million in additional funding from the California Energy Commission to offset costs associated with installing or upgrading EV charging stations.

To date, MBCP has already returned $4.4 million in revenue to tri-county businesses and residents through cost-savings delivered as a 3% rebate on 2018 MBCP Electric Generation Charges. Looking ahead, MBCP anticipates rebate dollars increasing for all customers in 2019 and funding for Energy Programs doubling and even tripling over the next two to five years.

About MBCP

Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties while retaining PG&E’s traditional role delivering power and maintaining electric infrastructure. As a locally controlled not-for-profit, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports Tri-County economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local renewable energy projects. For more information, visit www.mbcommunitypower.org

About GRID Alternatives

GRID Alternatives is a national leader in making renewable energy technology and training accessible to low-income communities. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar and clean mobility projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, while providing hands-on job training. GRID has installed solar for more than 13,000 families to-date and helped households and housing providers save $345 million in lifetime electricity costs, while training nearly 30,000 people. In California, GRID is a long-time administrator of statewide clean energy programs serving disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit www.gridalternatives.org .