CalCCA Celebrates Pioneering Programs at 2024 Community Impact Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2024
Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Celebrates Pioneering Programs at 2024 Community Impact Awards 

CCAs Recognized for Advancing Decarbonization, Equity, Outreach, and Reliability in the Energy Sector

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) celebrated nine outstanding member programs at the second annual Community Impact Awards (CIA), held today at the association’s 2024 Annual Conference in San Jose. The awards honor the innovative initiatives of Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) across California that are driving decarbonization, promoting equity, furthering outreach, and enhancing energy reliability. California Energy Commission (CEC) Chair David Hochschild and CalCCA CEO Beth Vaughan presented the awards on April 18 during the conference’s general session.

“The winning programs exemplify the ingenuity and innovation that CCAs are bringing to customers throughout California,” Chair Hochschild said. “Our state has been a leader in clean energy for years, so it is wonderful to see community choice energy providers continuing that leadership. As we continue on the route to a 100% carbon-free energy future, I am excited to see how these initiatives develop and how new ones build on this momentum.”

Entries for this year’s Community Impact Awards were evaluated by three distinguished judges: Hector De La Torre, Member, California Air Resources Board, Executive Director, Gateway Cities Council of Governments; Stephanie Hallinan, Associate Director, U. S. Market Transformation & Development, United States Green Building Council; and Craig Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, Clean Coalition.

The entries were evaluated using a range of criteria, such as success in addressing an important challenge/need; achieving concrete results; feedback from participants; and scalability and/or replicability by other CCAs or energy providers. Below is a summary of the award winners for each category (listed alphabetically by CCA name):

Decarbonization (Decarb) Category:  

  • MCE – Sync Program
  • Peninsula Clean Energy – EV Ready Program
  • Silicon Valley Clean Energy – Decarbonization Demonstration Grants

Equity Category:  

  • CleanPowerSF – Solar Inverter Replacement Program
  • MCE – Home Energy Savings Program

Marketing & Outreach Category:  

  • San José Clean Energy – EV Education & Outreach Campaign
  • Sonoma Clean Power – GridSavvy Awards Alerts Campaign

Reliability Category:  

  • Ava Community Energy – Resilient Municipal Critical Facilities Program
  • MCE – Energy Storage Program

MCE, pictured, received Community Impact Awards in three categories: Decarb, Equity, and Reliability.

Decarb Category
The Decarb category highlights programs/initiatives that help to advance emissions reductions in buildings or transportation.

MCE Sync Program 
The MCE Sync program is an innovative vehicle-grid integrated (VGI) technology that allows customers to automatically shift EV charging toward lower-cost energy hours when more renewables are on the grid, enhancing grid resiliency from outages. Over 1,900 residential customers use MCE Sync, shifting nearly 90% of charging load out of the 4:00–9:00 p.m. peak and saving customers over $200 yearly on the average electricity bill. Thanks to this success, MCE’s implementation partner EV.Energy was recently awarded a $41 million grant from the CEC to expand this program concept to 300,000 California drivers. To learn more about MCE’s Sync program visit https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/mce-sync/ and watch the video here.

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) EV Ready Program 
PCE’s EV Ready program provides incentives and free design assistance to facilitate EV charging in multi-family buildings, in addition to offering lower cost and more scalable options, leading customers to more than double the amount of EV charging from what they initially requested. So far, the program has helped customers install 1,000 ports, about 2/3 of which are at multi-family housing. Another 3,500+ chargers are in progress, too, with customer project costs being three times less than PG&E. To learn more about PCE’s EV Ready program, visit https://www.peninsulacleanenergy.com/ev-ready/ and watch a video about it here.

Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) Decarbonization Demonstration Grants 
SVCE’s Decarbonization Demonstration grants fund capital projects with the goal of demonstrating decarbonized buildings and sharing climate action strategies across the region. Through this program SVCE has allocated $3.2M to projects that reduce community facility dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution, and increase visibility of the electric equipment in the community. Examples of funded projects include the replacement of school gas furnaces with heat pumps, the development of an “Energization Station,” and the construction of an all-electric library. To learn more about SVCE’s Energy Demonstration grants, visit https://svcleanenergy.org/member-agencies/#grant-funding and watch the video here.

Equity Category
The Equity category highlights programs/initiatives that have successfully benefited a traditionally underserved or economically challenged group.

MCE Home Energy Savings Program 
MCE’s Home Energy Savings Program advances energy equity for a broad group of income-qualifying homeowners and renters. Initially offering no-cost smart thermostats to middle-income families, the program has evolved to offer upgrades such as no-cost insulation, air sealing, and heat pump mini-splits. Launched in 2019, the Home Energy Savings Program has upgraded over 850 low-middle income homes. MCE invests $4,200 per home for energy efficiency and $9,000 for electrification efforts, with a total of $4.2M+ worth of no-cost upgrades provided to customers. To learn more about MCE’s Home Energy Savings Program, visit https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/home-savings/ and watch the video here.

CleanPowerSF Solar Inverter Replacement Program 
The program helps qualifying CleanPowerSF customers maintain their GoSolarSF solar installation by providing direct financial assistance for system inspections, inverter replacements, and repairs. The high cost of solar inverter replacements presents barriers for many rooftop solar owners with low incomes, so the program ensures that CleanPowerSF customers can continue to see lower electricity bills as a benefit of their solar systems while helping San Francisco realize its 100% renewable electricity goal. Since its 2021 inception, the program has enrolled 171 households with low incomes in need of solar repairs and upgrades. To learn more about CleanPowerSF’s Solar Inverter Replacement program, visit https://www.cleanpowersf.org/solarinverter and watch the video here.

Marketing & Outreach Category
The Marketing and Outreach category highlights successful and thoughtful marketing/outreach campaigns that aim to increase participation in customer programs, expand adoption of clean energy options and/or encourage customers or other targeted audiences to change their behaviors related to energy consumption and watch a video about it here.

San José Clean Energy (SJCE) EV Education and Outreach Pilot Campaign 
SJCE’s EV Education and Outreach Pilot Campaign aimed to increase EV adoption among residents with lower incomes and those who face the most barriers to adoption. It employed various outreach methods including a community dinner, a ride-and-drive, local presentations, and informational webinars. The campaign events were attended by over 700 residents and led to SJCE’s acceptance into the Department of Energy’s “Clean Energy to Communities” peer-learning cohort. To learn more about SJCE’s EV Education and Outreach Pilot, visit https://sanjosecleanenergy.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Climate-Smart-External-Stakeholders-EV-Pilot-November-2023.pdf and watch the video here.

Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) GridSavvy Rewards Alerts Campaign 
SCP’s GridSavvy Rewards program is a behavioral demand-response offering for residential customers meant to alleviate pressure on the state’s electric grid while reducing customer energy costs and promoting energy-conscious habits. SCP’s marketing campaign for this program centered around engaging and appealing to low-income households through text, email, and voice messages for those without internet access or smartphones. For households to capitalize on rewards, no special devices or equipment installations are required. Instead, households can decide how to reduce energy consumption on their own terms. Of the 7,200 SCP customers who participated in GridSavvy Rewards Alerts in 2023, 36% qualified as low-income households. Customers are provided an enrollment incentive and $2 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved during alerts. To learn more about SCP’s GridSavvy Rewards Alerts, visit https://sonomacleanpower.org/save-energy-and-earn-rewards and watch the video here.

Reliability Category
The Reliability category highlights programs/initiatives that successfully advance energy reliability/resilience at the local, regional, and/or state level.

Ava Community Energy Resilient Municipal Critical Facilities Program 
Ava’s program uses solar microgrids and battery backups to generate carbon-free, renewable energy that critical municipal facilities (e.g., fire stations, community centers) can use every day and in the event of an outage—a clean alternative to gas-powered generators and other polluting backup power sources. Ava created a city partnership initiative that offers resilient backup for essential loads during grid outages and is currently negotiating to develop multiple city sites representing an estimated 10.2 MW aggregated solar AC and 20.9 MWh of aggregated battery storage. In 2023, Ava was awarded $2 million in federal funds to support this project in its service area. To learn more about Ava’s Resilient Municipal Critical Facilities Program, visit https://avaenergy.org/resilient-facilities/ and watch the video here.

MCE Energy Storage Program 
MCE’s Energy Storage Program supports customer-owned energy storage systems paired with on-site solar. Customers receive incentives in the form of rebates, monthly bill credits, and performance-based payments to reduce upfront and out-of-pocket costs. The program leveraged MCE’s $7 million Resiliency Fund, a $750,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation, and the $200 million available through the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), bringing local and reliable energy to MCE customers, decreasing the risk of outages, reducing carbon emissions, and providing bill savings. Technical support and funding have been provided through the program to 14 schools, three community centers, an affordable housing center, a fire station, and three health centers. To learn more about MCE’s Energy Storage Program, visit: https://www.mcecleanenergy.org/facility-energystorage/ and watch the video here.

For more information about the Community Impact Awards and the California Community Choice Association, please visit www.cal-cca.org.

### 

About CalCCA 
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state legislature and at regulatory agencies. There are 25 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 14 million customers—over one-third of the state’s population—in 200+ cities and counties throughout the state. For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.