- MCE’s Low-Income Tenants and Families (LIFT) program launched in October 2017 to address energy efficiency needs in disadvantaged and hidden communities. LIFT includes funds to fuel-switch to heat pumps.
- Since 2012, MCE has allocated $535,000 in income-qualified solar rebates, administered by GRID Alternatives. To date, MCE has helped fund 229 solar installations for income-qualified families, representing nearly 554 kWs of new, local solar, and will collectively eliminate over 6,400 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the lifetime of their solar systems.
- MCE has been one of the few parties to advocate for income-qualified CCA customers at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). For example, we partnered with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), on a motion examining the fairness of applying the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) to rate-payers who low-income energy discount, CARE.
- MCE’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency program prioritizes affordable housing developments by providing free energy assessments, free energy and water-saving measures for tenants, and free technical assistance to develop a comprehensive scope of work.
- In 2016, MCE coordinated a bilingual campaign with SmartLights for to offer energy efficiency for small businesses in San Pablo, where 45.1% of residents are foreign born. Over 2 days, a 3-person team went door-to-door offering free energy audits and direct install measures to hard-to-reach businesses. They visited 39 businesses, provided bilingual information and applications to 29 of those, 8 did an energy audit on the spot.
- Inspired by the 2016 work in San Pablo, in 2017 MCE partnered with East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW) and the City of Richmond on ‘Energize Richmond,’ another bilingual door-to-door energy efficiency push. Over 4 days of pounding pavement along 23rd St and Macdonald ave, MCE and EBEW spoke to 85 small businesses offering additional rebates from the City of Richmond that -in most cases- completely covered the total cost of an update. 64% businesses did a free assessment and energy audit on the spot, 58% spoke English as a second language. Ultimately, 73 businesses (85%!) completed the proposed energy efficiency upgrade. This roughly represents a 394,688 kWh projected energy savings. This was made possible by $122,000 in incentives invested by the City of Richmond and $87,134 in incentives invested by EBEW and MCE.
- In 2016, MCE provided $85,000 to Rising Sun Energy Center to support workforce development training for youth in San Pablo and El Cerrito.
- MCE has facilitated local green collar job creation through its Feed-In Tariff, which provides higher than market rates for local renewable energy development, incentivizing local investment. There have also been noteworthy projects like Solar One in Richmond, which has a 50% minimum local hire requirement. This requirement was largely met by partnering with RichmondBUILD, which trains local workers from under-served populations and low-income households. 95% of participants are minorities and over 30% have a history with the justice system.
Community engagement is an essential part of MCE’s values. The Community Power Coalition presentations below provide a snapshot of the information shared over the last few years.
“We all need to think about what is actually involved when we turn on a light or recharge our devices. Energy, and the politics surrounding it, is complicated. Being part of the Coalition has pushed me to try to understand the complexity and the urgency. And it is encouraging to be around the passion and engagement of the other advocates.”
“Working with MCE and the Community Power Coalition has been a great pleasure, everyone I have come in contact with is working hard to make a difference.”
“MCE’s Community Power Coalition has provided a valuable platform for community advocates to stay informed and collaborate on topics of energy, climate action and environmental justice.”
“MCE, by being the first CCE program in CA and showing it is possible to create more renewable than the IOU’s were saying they could do, and sharing their expertise, have done so much to create the reputation of our state as a model for renewable energy development.”