Sonoma Clean Power’s (SCP) Advanced Energy Build program is powering new home construction in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties with cash incentives and technical guidance for builders, the utility says in a statement.
Through Advanced Energy Build, new development projects can earn up to $4,500 per housing unit for energy efficiency and resiliency features. Low-income single-family homes, multifamily housing, and projects that add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are eligible for increased incentive amounts. The flexible incentive packages are designed to assist builders with the costs associated with building electric-ready and all-electric homes.
All-electric construction is still a fairly new practice in the housing industry. However, it has become more prevalent in recent years due to California’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, the increase of efficiency in electric appliances like heat pumps and induction cooktops, and customer demand for smart appliances.
“What we see with homes that are built without gas, or very little dependence on gas, is that they not only emit less pollution, but they also save their occupants an average of $650 annually on their utility bills and are cost-neutral to build. With new developments, we have an opportunity to create healthier indoor environments for people to live in, while also helping them save money on their overall living expenses,” says SCP programs manager Scott Salyer.
Advanced Energy Build was adapted from SCP’s Advanced Energy Rebuild program, which was developed in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to support residents in the rebuilding process after the October 2017 North Bay fires.
Similarly, Advanced Energy Build incentivizes energy-efficient appliances and equipment, electric vehicle charging stations, and more, with additional funds for all-electric projects and those that combine solar with battery storage systems. Homeowners that want to maximize their energy savings can connect to SCP’s GridSavvy Community, which rewards customers with a monthly bill credit for allowing their smart devices to serve as a resource in times of stress on the electricity grid.
As both Sonoma and Mendocino Counties work to address the need for more housing, SCP hopes that Advanced Energy Build will encourage builders to adopt high-performance standards and increase the number of resilient, efficient homes available to residents in the area, the statement says.
SCP will work closely with builders to ensure their designs qualify for the program incentives and educate the future homeowners on the benefits of their new, energy-efficient appliances.
In addition to the program, SCP plans to offer trainings and classes to contractors on clean energy technologies and all-electric building practices through its Advanced Energy Center to help smooth the local transition toward building electrification.
For more information, builders can email SCP at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sonomacleanpower.org/programs/advanced-energy-build.