California's Cap & Trade investments hitting GRID rooftops

Legislators, administration officials and community groups gathered at a live GRID solar installation in Sacramento to highlight the state’s partnership with GRID to expand clean energy access to disadvantaged communities. Using proceeds from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF)--a fund created through California's cap and trade program--we will install rooftop solar for more than 1,600 families through 2016. Our installations represent some of the first cap and trade investments to reach economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities. They are the result of SB535, a bill authored by Senator Kevin de León that directs a portion of the GGRF to communities in need.

“I introduced SB 535 in 2011 to ensure that our disproportionately impacted communities benefit from investments in clean energy,” said Senator de León, who spoke at the event. “These investments will bring energy savings, quality jobs, and environmental benefits where they are needed most.”

The installation was completed by a team of job trainees from the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, providing those students with hands-on experience that will help them access the growing solar job market. The 2.5 kW solar electric system will provide an estimated $818 electricity cost savings in the first year for Roy Rivera, a disabled man who lives on a fixed income, and $22,800 over its 30-year lifetime.

"We hope the savings will help defray some of my medical costs,” said Mr. Rivera, who bought his home two years ago through NeighborWorks, one of our affordable housing partners. "When you have a budget like ours, which is stretched just about as far as you can go, it makes a big difference.”

The funds for these projects were awarded to GRID Alternatives by CSD under the Low Income Weatherization Program (LIWP), which was funded $75 million in GGRF proceeds in the state’s 2014-15 budget.

You can watch the whole speaking program here.