GRID Alternatives and SMUD surpass 100 solar installations and energy efficiency upgrades for low-income customers
Since late 2016, SMUD, in partnership with GRID Alternatives North Valley, has worked to help customers in underserved neighborhoods save energy and money by making their homes more energy efficient and providing them with free solar electric systems. The partnership recently completed its one-hundredth installation.
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 North Valley, which serves Sacramento and surrounding areas, to help them find candidates eligible to receive free solar electric 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 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. Typical systems meet 75-90 percent of customers’ electricity needs.
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.
“Completing our one-hundredth project is an exciting milestone for this partnership,” said SMUD Chief Customer Officer Nicole Howard. “It underscores the efforts we’re making to improve the lives of families in underserved communities, and we’re proud to continue working with GRID Alternatives to help many more families this year.”
“Solar is a triple win in our communities,” said Bob Gragson, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives North Valley. “It provides energy cost savings that families can invest back in their homes and neighborhoods; puts people to work; and furthers our transition to clean energy. We look forward to continuing this important work with SMUD.”
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 going solar with GRID, visit gridalternatives.org/smud.
About GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives North Valley is an affiliate of GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. Using a unique, people-first model, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve qualifying households and affordable housing providers, while providing hands-on job 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\northvalley.