SMUD and GRID Alternatives partner to provide solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades to low-income customers
SMUD, in partnership with GRID Alternatives, is working to help customers in underserved neighborhoods save money and energy.
GRID Alternatives is a national nonprofit focused on making renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. SMUD has worked closely with GRID Alternatives to help them find candidates eligible to receive free solar electricity systems in SMUD’s service territory. SMUD reaches out directly to customers who are currently enrolled in SMUD’s Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR). Interested customers contact GRID Alternatives directly to continue the process and potentially receive a free solar electricity system. The systems are funded by California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.
SMUD energy experts also work with the selected customers to perform complete energy audits of their homes and determine the most effective ways to improve each home’s energy efficiency. Contractors then install multiple efficiency measures, which can include upgrades to insulation, lighting, weather-stripping and more. All of these upgrades are done at no cost to the customer.
“We’re committed to helping all of our customers save energy and money,” said SMUD’s Chief Customer Officer Nicole Howard. “Partnering with GRID Alternatives to provide free solar electricity systems along with energy efficiency upgrades is a win-win for our underserved communities.”
SMUD and GRID Alternatives have completed upgrades to approximately 50 homes in Sacramento County to date. SMUD expects to complete upgrades to another approximately 150 homes over the next 18 months.
"For over a decade, GRID Alternatives has been on the leading edge of creating access to solar and solar technology for low-income communities,” said GRID Alternatives North Valley Executive Director Bob Gragson. "In Sacramento County, SMUD’s leadership has helped us to deliver services to families in the greatest need through our program."
SMUD is also working to provide energy efficiency upgrades to low-income customers beyond the scope of the GRID Alternatives partnership. SMUD currently has three additional programs—Deep Home Energy Saver, Energy Saver Home Bundle and Energy Saver Apartment Bundle—that are designed to provide SMUD’s EAPR customers with energy efficiency upgrades. SMUD’s Board of Directors has approved the allocation of more than $10 million to these programs over the next several years above and beyond the current program’s budget.
To learn more about SMUD’s programs for low-income customers, visit smud.org. To learn more about GRID Alternatives, visit gridalternatives.org/smud.
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, bringing clean energy technology and job training to underserved communities through a network of community partners and philanthropic supporters. GRID has installed over 8,300 solar electric systems for low-income families and affordable housing providers with a combined installed capacity of 30.5MW, saving $245 million in lifetime electricity costs, preventing 667,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and providing over 31,000 people with solar training. GRID Alternatives manages two of California’s low-income solar programs, including the solar portion of the Low-Income Weatherization Program through the California Department of Community Services and Development For more information, visit gridalternatives.org.
As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for about 70 years to Sacramento County (and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment.