Local Grant Funds Target Affordable Housing and Market-Rate Multi-Unit Dwellings, Single-Family Homes and Home Losses Due to 2020 Wildfires
MONTEREY – Central Coast Community Energy (3CE) announced the launch of its New Construction Electrification Grant Program with $2.075 million in available funding expected to incentivize at least 830 new all-electric housing units plus a total of $150,000 to support 25 all-electric local home rebuilds for 3CE customers affected by 2020 wildfires in Monterey and Sana Cruz counties.
Each qualifying wildfire rebuild may also be eligible for an additional $600 toward installation of a level-2 electric vehicle charging station.
Funding for the New Construction Electrification Grant Program totals $2,225,000 and continues 3CE’s efforts to reduce local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by incentivizing the electrification or, “decarbonization,” of our region’s top local GHG producing sectors: transportation, buildings, and agriculture.
Though grant funds will be distributed through one of two primary tracks – new construction or wildfire rebuilds – the new construction track targeting building developers addresses multiple funding scenarios and widens the applicant field from 3CE’s 2020 version of this program to now include single-family homes and not be limited to multi-unit dwellings. It also nearly doubles 2020 funding. Designed to address both electrification and the Central Coast region’s growing housing crisis, 75% of building developer funds for new all-electric housing will go to affordable housing projects, with 25% remaining for market-rate construction.
“Central Coast Community Energy continues to fund impactful programs that reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and give our customers access to valuable funds on an annual basis,” shares 3CE CEO Tom Habashi. “By taking a strategic approach, we’re able to accelerate and incentivize electrification by removing barriers and costs. And by collaborating with community stakeholders, we can also design these programs to address community priorities like the ongoing housing crisis.”
Aimed at accelerating the construction of new all-electric housing to decrease reliance on fossil fuels such as natural gas, the New Construction Electrification Grant Program supports local housing developers with the transition from traditional mixed-fuel building design to all-electric buildings. As a public agency driven largely by community input, 3CE’s nimble and proactive nature allows the three-year-old agency to respond to immediate needs such as rebuilding after last year’s catastrophic wildfires. Even this targeted and event-specific aspect of the program carries the agency’s hallmark efforts to incentivize electrification and grow electric vehicle infrastructure for the Central Coast.
“Central Coast Community Energy’s support for our community members affected by the 2020 wildfires shows the agency’s continued dedication to quickly responding to local community needs,” shared Bruce McPherson, County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors Chair and 3CE Policy Board Chair. “3CE’s ongoing community reinvestment through innovative energy programs like this, through financial relief to all customers to minimize the economic hardships of Covid-19, to ongoing electricity bill savings… are critical during this time of adversity and to rebuilding a more resilient Central Coast community.”
The New Construction Electrification Grant Program follows a successful, fully subscribed May 2020 Multi-Unit Dwelling or MUD Electrification Grant Program wherein 3CE dedicated $1.3 million in support of up to 542 MUD units. Funding for last year’s program was fully subscribed within the first 12 hours of program launch. As a recipient of this 2020 funding, the Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA) is moving forward with its proposed project and plans to apply for the improved 2021 grant funds.
“CHISPA is elated to be using a grant from Central Coast Community Energy to help fund our all-electric construction of four homes and four Accessory Dwelling Units in the City of Soledad.” Shared CHISPA, “We have decided that all-electric construction is the most environmentally responsible design for all of our homes and apartments going forward, and 3CE’s grant funding has helped accelerate the adoption of all-electric construction.”
3CE is now accepting applications for the New Construction Electrification Grant Program. Learn more about this energy program here.