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Climate Solutions: Accelerating Electrification and Resiliency

As a region, we’re making strides in moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels, helping to drive positive change in the energy economy.

The ongoing increase in renewable and alternative energy into the grid will result from a mixture of equity-based community-driven policies, regulations, incentives, and innovations embedded in the power sectors of many forward-thinking regions to help support California’s ambitious yet attainable climate goals. The Monterey Bay is one of them, and MBEP members are maximizing and accelerating key opportunities for residents, businesses, and municipalities to be part of the solution.

Our very own Community Choice Energy agency, MBEP member Monterey Bay Community Power (soon to be Central Coast Community Energy in September), is moving rapidly to incentivize quicker adoption of clean energy technologies and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in residential and commercial buildings, transportation, and agriculture.

Transportation alone contributes to more than 60% of local greenhouse gas emissions, and we spend close to $2 billion per year to fuel over 1 million vehicles. Electrifying our transportation sector could save us money that could be reinvested in the sustainability of local communities. To that end, MBCP and key partners are supporting local school districts in the adoption of electric buses and developing more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the Bay.

Next to transportation, our built environment consists of some of the largest GHG contributors. Our homes and businesses are primarily heated and supported by natural gas, followed closely by propane. Close to 1 million metric tons of GHGs are emitted from the built environment each year, and customers spend almost $450 million heating their homes, water, and cooking meals. MBCP’s building energy programs are helping jurisdictions, developers, businesses, and residents to transition new and existing buildings from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy sources. MBCP member jurisdictions can apply for up to $15,000 to offset staff costs associated with the adoption of a reach code ordinance. Other home electrification incentive programs are in the pipeline. In addition, to reach code incentives, MBCP launched the first of its kind multi-unit-dwelling (MUD) electrification grant program to support all-electric affordable and market-rate housing which was oversubscribed on the first day. MBCP estimates supporting over 500 units of all-electric housing stock in the coming years and looks to potentially fund this opportunity again later this year. Additionally, MBCP is providing an opportunity for its ag customers to apply for up $20,000 to replace aging and polluting ag equipment with new all-electric forklifts, tractors, coolers, boilers, and other items, which will contribute to 

cleaner air, more efficient technology, GHG reduction, and cost savings. Read up on this recently launched program in the Monterey County Weekly, and learn more about MBCP’s ag electrification program and how you can contribute to the conversation. 

And while climate change will continue to bring periods of high wildfire risk, Monterey Bay Community Power is working to prevent the extended power outages, or Public Safety Power Shutoffs, that have crippled local economies and challenged residents in recent years. Part of MBCP’s energy program goals is to accelerate the adoption of reliable backup power, also known as “energy resiliency,” by providing technical and financial resources to commercial and residential customers to maintain critical operations, and potentially create new revenue streams and drive down energy costs. Learn more about their energy resiliency programs. The path to economic recovery is paved with an energy infrastructure that creates resilience, which will require all of us coming together to identify, promote and expand these kinds of opportunities.  MBCP continues to work with locals on how to deliver incentive programs that meet community-driven needs. If you would like more information on MBCP’s programs, please contact info@mbcommunitypower.org.