By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– SoCalGas today announced it will award grants of $50,000 each to two municipalities to support local planning efforts to prepare for climate-change risks, such as extreme heat, wildfires, drought, sea level rise, flooding and other extreme weather events. The competitive grant program is designed to help cities and counties reduce the impact of such threats, which are expected to increase over the next decade. An advisory panel of planning and sustainability experts from the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), Climate Resolve, and the American Planning Association-California Chapter (APA-California) will select the winning applications from across Southern and Central California.
“Natural disasters, from Hurricane Harvey to the Napa Valleyfires, have highlighted the importance of natural gas as a resilient energy resource that provides heat and hot water for homes, and on-site electricity generation for hospitals and relief centers,” said George Minter, SoCalGas regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy. “Resiliency means not putting all your eggs in one basket and maintaining diverse forms of energy that can help communities recover from climate change-related disasters.”
“The American Planning Association supports efforts to improve community preparedness, resilience, and sustainability in the face of both natural and human-caused hazards,” said Ashley Atkinson, director of the American Planning Association Los Angeles. “Planners and local governments are increasingly being called upon to address these issues, and this grant program is an important resource for our Californiacommunities.”
“LARC leads collaboration to reduce emissions and develop a more climate-resilient Southern California,” said Laurel Hunt, LARC’s executive director. “We are excited that this grant program encourages partnerships aimed at preparing our cities and counties to determine the best course of action for the region and maximize limited resources.”
“Climate Resolve advances local solutions to global climate change, and works to achieve outcomes that bestow multiple benefits—sustainability, resiliency, equity, livability and prosperity,” said Bryn Lindblad, Climate Resolve’s associate director. “We are pleased to advise this grant program as it supports local communities in their efforts to plan for the increasingly significant impacts from climate change.”
Grant proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:
Collaboration:The extent to which the proposal reflects coordination and partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders such as energy and water utilities, transportation and housing agencies, etc.
Disadvantaged Communities:SoCalGas encourages applicants to address vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities.
Co-Benefits:The extent to which the proposal identifies potential added benefits of the adaptation work, such as benefits to public health, air quality, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and the economy.
The annual grants will be funded by shareholders and will not impact natural gas bills. The deadline to submit proposals is August 15, 2018.
SoCalGas is a leader in developing and investing in technologies that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change while keeping bills affordable for customers. Since 1990, the company’s energy efficiency and rebate programs have reduced emissions equal to taking almost 700,000 cars off the road and saved customers more than $670 millionin energy costs.
SoCalGas has also been working to increase the amount of renewable natural gas produced in Californiaand delivered to its customers. Renewable natural gas captures climate changing emissions from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, agriculture and dairies, and then uses it for transportation, home heating, hot water, cooking, industrial uses, and generating electricity. Using renewable natural gas to replace just a fraction of the natural gas delivered in Californiawould achieve the same greenhouse gas reductions as electrifying 100 percent of buildings—but at a much lower cost to consumers.
In addition, SoCalGas is developing cutting-edge technologies that store surplus renewable solar and wind energy in the form of renewable natural gas or hydrogen for fuel cells. Renewable storage technologies use existing pipeline infrastructure to store excess renewable energy, and it can store that energy for months or longer—two important advantages over battery storage.
For more information about SoCalGas’ environmental initiatives, go to socalgas.com/smart-energy.